New Online Tool from Quaker Group, National Priorities Project Spells It Out

PHILADELPHIA  (April 27, 2009) – The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker peace and international humanitarian organization, and the National Priorities Project (NPP) have partnered to create an online primer for U.S. taxpayers to learn the cost of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

The document, “The Cost of War in Afghanistan,” gives a historical and cultural context to the seven-year-old conflict and details the human cost of war in thousands of casualties, both American and Afghan, and millions of refugees.

“Afghanistan needs to be seen as a country and not just a conflict,” says Peter Lems, AFSC program director for Afghanistan and Iraq, who co-authored the document with NPP staff. ”After 30 years of conflict, Afghans want peace and stability, and we in the U.S. can help their efforts. AFSC’s experience has shown that building a new school with 12 classrooms and an office in Kabul costs $128,000. That is less than two percent of what the state of Pennsylvania alone contributes to war in Afghanistan each year.”

The four-page document includes a state-by-state breakdown of the economic cost of war.  And it shows what that money could have funded instead, such as providing early childhood education, health care and renewable electricity.