President Biden has announced his intention to complete the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan by September, a move that would end a 20-year-and-counting conflict.
“War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said. “We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is degraded in Afghanistan and it’s time to end the forever war.”
“It is time for American troops to come home,” the president concluded.
Hawkish critics have blasted Biden, calling the move “premature” and warning that ending US military occupation of Afghanistan could potentially have grave consequences if a hypothetical terrorist threat emerges in our absence. But a new report reveals that the true costs of continuing this conflict are astounding and growing.
The Brown University Costs of War Project just released an analysis showing that the Afghanistan War has now cost the US at least $2.261 trillion, roughly $16,000 per federal taxpayer. (The breakdown of this spending is shown in the graphic below.) But the report notes that these costs are if anything an underestimate because the figures don’t include the money we are obligated to pay in future healthcare costs for Afghanistan veterans nor future interest payments on the money we borrowed to finance the conflict.
Moreover, Brown reports on the human toll the conflict has taken.
The analysis estimates that 241,000 people have lost their lives in the Afghanistan War, including 2,442 US military service members, nearly 4,000 US contractors, and more than 71,000 civilians. And, once again, these figures are likely underestimates, because they don’t include indirect deaths due to hunger, disease, water shortages, and more that stem from damage done during the war.
This new report is just another reminder that the full scope of the war in Afghanistan’s human and economic costs is beyond the mind’s ability to grasp. Anyone arguing we should perpetuate the war forever must grapple with the extraordinary toll our involvement has taken.
YouTube, Spotify, and other Big Tech platforms are taking Freedom First Network down
It’s no secret we speak our minds and bring on guests who do the same. That’s one of the biggest reasons we put together the Freedom First Network in the first place. There are far too many news outlets, including so-called “conservative” media companies, who are so beholden to Big Tech that they temper their perspectives at best and outright coverup the truth at worst. Many, as you all know, will blatantly lie in order to maintain the narrative that supports the radical agenda taking over much of the United States.
We have had our YouTube channel taken down. Many of our shows have been suppressed or removed by Facebook and Twitter. Spotify banned one of our shows completely from their platform. Google hates us. We’ve even been censored by some of the smaller players like Medium, Transistor, and Captivate. But we stand behind our reporting and perspectives and we refuse to bow down to Big Tech tyranny for the sake of pageviews or video plays.
This isn’t the easiest road to travel, especially for a media company that is so new. We launched Freedom First Network in 2020 to fight against the very censorship that we’re seeing so widespread today. We have found great homes for our content on freer speech platforms like Rumble and we’re putting our best efforts forward into building our presence on Locals. Nevertheless, we cannot do it alone. We need help.
One of the things cofounders Jeff Dornik and JD Rucker agreed to from the start was to never be the pawns of companies that do not embrace our worldview. Finding advertisers and affiliates is easy; we receive requests by companies wanting to be pushed on our shows every day. But it’s important to us that we’re promoting companies, services, and products that are beneficial to maintaining a Freedom First stance in America. As a result, we do not take on sponsors easily. We would rather rely on our own products like Freedom First Coffee and the support of our wonderful viewers, listeners, and readers.
Those who want to support us and help keep the fight for America’s future moving forward can do so by donating through our Locals page. There, you can donate monthly or one-time. Some have told us to use Patreon or GoFundMe, but both of those platforms have demonstrated a hatred for free speech. Locals does not. They embrace it. We encourage everyone to join us on Locals, but donations are greatly appreciated as well. We do not have day jobs. Our fight for freedom is a full-time gig.
Please feel free to reach out to us through our contact form. It goes directly to our founders, so if you’re interested in getting involved, investing, sponsoring, or even bringing a show to our network, let us know. May God Bless the United States of America!