Additional References & Citations

Citations for Afghanistan Study Group Report

Table of Contents

- Claim “I am concerned that we underestimate the risks of this expansion of our mission and that we have not fully studied every alternative…Rater than reducing Afghan dependence, sending more troops, therefore, is likely to deepen it.”

Citation: Leaked Memo From Ambassador Karl Eikenberry to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Available Here:

Page 1

- Claim: “At eight years and counting, the U.S. war in Afghanistan is now the longest war in our history, surpassing both Vietnam and the Soviet Union’s extended military campaign there.”

Citation: Thomas Nagorski, “Afghan War Now Country’s Longest,” ABC News, June 7, 2010. Available here:

- Claim: “With the surge, [the war in Afghanistan] will cost the U.S. taxpayer nearly $100 billion per year.”

Citation: The Defense Department Budget Request for operations in Afghanistan is $110.3bn “United States Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request,” February 2010. Available at Table 8-4 (near end of document):

The State Department Budget Request for Afghanistan and Pakistan combined is $7.1 billion


- Claim: “Afghanistan’s GDP of less than $14 billion”

Citation: According to the CIA World Fact book, Afghanistan’s GDP at real exchange rates is estimated at $13.47 million. The 2009 CIA number is the most reliable and recent source I found.

- Claim: “[The cost of the war in Afghanistan] will be greater than the annual cost of the new health insurance program.”

Citation: Doug Elmendorf, “Letter From Douglas W. Elmendorf to Nancy Pelosi,” March 20, 2010. Available at p. 22. Indicates that the ten year net cost of the health insurance program is estimated by CBO to be net cost of $788 billion, far less than the Afghanistan war’s $100 billion price tag on an annual basis:

- Claim: “There are only some 400 hard-core Al Qaeda members remaining in the entire Af-Pak theatre…”

Citation: David E. Sanger and Mark Mazzeti, “New Estimate of Strength of Al Qaeda is Offered,” New York Times, June 30, 2010. Available here:

- Claim: the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence continued to provide logistics and financial support to the Afghan Taliban even as U.S. units were fighting these units.”

- Claim: “Many more civilian deaths have occurred than have been officially acknowledged as the result of U.S. and allied strike accidents.”

Citation: Jon Bingham, “Wikileaks Afghanistan: Suggestions U.S. Tried to Cover Up Civilian Casualties,” The Daily Telegraph, July 27, 2010.

- Claim: “Karzai-government affiliates and appointees in rural Afghanistan have often proven to be more corrupt and ruthless than the Taliban.”

Citation: C. J. Chivers, Carlotta Gall, Andrew W. Lehren, Mark Mazzetti, Jane Perlez, and Eric Schmitt, “View is Bleaker Than Official Portrayal of War in Afghanistan,” New York Times, July 25, 2010.

Available at:

Citation: Mark Mazzetti, Jane Perlez, Eric Schmitt, and Andrew Lehren, “Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert,” New York Times, July 25, 2010.

Available at:

- Claim: “Thousands of American and Allied personnel have been killed or gravely wounded.”

Citation: According to there have been 1,953 allied fatalities

in the war in Afghanistan, as of July 21, 2010.

Claim: “Afghanistan has never been pacified by foreign forces.”

Citation: Henry A. Kissinger, “America Needs an Afghan Strategy, Not an Alibi,” Washington Post, June 24, 2010.

- Claim: Kandahar defensive has been delayed and expectations have been downgraded

Citation: Dion Nissenbaum and Jonathan Landay, “Afghanistan War: Kandahar Offensive Is Now In The Slow Lane,” McClatchy Newspapers, May 17, 2010. Available at

- Claim: “U.S. and allied casualties reached an all-time high in July.”

Citation: Robert H. Reid, “U.S. Casualties in Afghanistan Reach Record High,” Associated Press, July 31, 2010.

- Claim: “Several NATO allies have announced plans to withdraw forces,”:

Citation: Germany is planning to withdraw, “Germany Begins Afghan Pullout in 2011,” PressTV, July 10, 2010. Available here:

Citation: Chris Borowski, “Polish PM Says to Press Allies to End Afghan Mission,” Reuters, June 12, 2010. Available At

 Citation: “Canada To Pull Troops Out of Afghanistan By 2011,” PressTV, October 10, 2009. Available at 

Page 4

- Claim: $1.4 trillion deficit

Citation: “October Monthly Budget Review.” CBO Director’s Blog. Available at shows that FY09 deficit was about $1.4 trillion

Page 5

- Claim: “20 to 30 Al Qaeda leaders globally”

Citation: Glenn Carle, former intelligence officer in the Bush Administration

- Claim: “The United States drove Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan in 2002, and its presence in Afghanistan is now negligible.”

Citation: According to Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, there are only 50-100 Al Qaeda members currently in Afghanistan, and roughly 300 more in neighboring Pakistan.  If we are in Afghanistan to eradicate Al Qaeda, therefore, it is costing about $250 million per year for each Al Qaeda operative. See Michael Isikoff, “U.S. Counterterror Chief: We Need Debate on CIA Terror Targets,” Newsweek, July 2, 2010 at

“Total cost increase from $370 billion to $707 billion

Citation: (The 2000 number comes from: and the 2011 number is explained below:

Note that the figures for 2011 are speculative at this point. They are based on the President’s budget request.

The Defense Department Budget Request for operations in Afghanistan is $110.3bn

Citation: Table 8-4 (near end of document):

The State Department Budget Request for Afghanistan and Pakistan combined is $7.1 billion


Page 6

- Claim: Pakistan is concentrated within the tribal areas in its northwest frontier, and largely confined to its Pashtun minority (which comprises about 15 percent of the population).  The Pakistani army is primarily Punjabi (roughly 44 percent of the population) and remains loyal.

Citation: Population statistics are available at the CIA World Factbook. Available here:

Page 8

On the ideas contained within “Point #4: Promote Economic Development,” consult Graciana del Castillo, “Peace Through Reconstruction: An Effective Strategy For Afghanistan,” Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2010. See especially, pp. 205-207.

Page 9

- Claim: “In many parts of the country, district governance is almost nonexistent; half the governors do not have an office, fewer than a quarter have electricity, and some receive only six dollars a month in expenses.”

Citation: David Miliband, “How To End The War in Afghanistan,” New York Review, April 29, 2010

Page 11

- Claim: This step would save the U.S. at least $60 to $80 billion per year and reduce local resentment at our large and intrusive military presence.

Citation: Amy Belasco, “The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11,” Congressional Research Service, September 28, 2009. Available at:

This CRS paper (graph at top of page 9) shows that spending in Afghanistan did not exceed $21 billion in any one year until 2007. Since then it has risen precipitously.

Page 12

- Claim: “To the extent possible, external assistance should be channeled through a more decentralized Afghan government”

Citation: Graciana Del Castillo, “Peace Through Reconstruction: An Effective Strategy For Afghanistan,” Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2010.

Page 14

- Claim: “total national debt at a record $13 trillion”

Citation: As of March 31, 2010, United States gross debt stood at $13.917 trillion. Available Here

Page 15

- Claim: “U.S. Government emphasizes that withdrawal in summer 2011 will depend on conditions prevailing at the time.”

Citation: David Petraeus during confirmation hearing: “It’s important that July 2011 be seen for what it is, the date when a process begins based on conditions, not the date when the U.S. heads for the exits,” said Petraeus. “Moreover, my agreement with the president’s decisions was based on projections of conditions in July 2011. Needless to say, we’ll do all that is humanly possible to achieve those conditions.” Quoted here: John McCormack, “Petraeus on July 2011 Withdrawal Date From Afghanistan,” The Weekly Standard, June 23, 2010. Available at

- Claim: “100,000 Sunnis”

Citation: 5. Myth #10: “100,000 Sunnis”

Citation: Alissa Rubin and Damien Cave, “In A Force of Iraqi Calm, Seeds of Conflict,” New York Times, December 23, 2007. Available at: