The Afghan defense minister estimates that the country will need to spend $5 billion a year on security after the U.S. withdraws its forces in 2014 and would like the U.S. to foot the bill. "At the present level of security environment we are facing, it will be about $5 billion a year," Afghanistan defense minister Abdul Rahim Wardak told journalists, according to Reuter's report. To put that figure in perspective, $5 billion is more than three times the Afghan government's domestic revenue and a third of the country's GDP fetching. Wardak's $5 billion estimate follows his country's and the Afghan Army Chief of Staff Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi's pitch to the international community for heavier weaponry, who said, according to CBS, "heavier weapons are needed as a deterrent against potential threats from Afghanistan's neighbors." Afghan officials didn't elaborate how long the $5 billion-per-year allowance would last, "but William Patey, Britain's ambassador in Kabul, has said Afghanistan may need financial support until 2025, and military support for many years after the 2014 deadline for foreign combat troops to leave," reported Reuters. Of course, while Afghanistan thinks it's sitting on top of mineral reserves worth $3 trillion, they don't expect to be afford such an expenditure, leaving Wardak to expect that much of the money would come from the United States.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.