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A military camp in Afghanistan. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria following the September 11 attacks have cost American taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion, CNBC reports, citing a Defense Department report.

Key figure: The war in Afghanistan, America's longest war, cost the most at $134.3 billion. Defense Secretary James Mattis, who arrived in Kabul last Friday, is seeking to restart long-moribund peace talks with the Taliban.

By the numbers: The three current military actions — Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan, Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq, and Operation Noble Eagle for homeland security missions in the U.S. and Canada — have cost the country more than $185 billion of the total amount.

  • Noble Eagle's military operation has accounted for $27.7 billion, and Inherent Resolve has cost $23.5 billion.
  • The money is used to cover expenses such as troops’ salary, training and military equipment.

State of play: According to the AP, there are almost 15,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan supporting combat against the Taliban. Roughly 2,000 are in Syria, working with the Syrian Defense Forces or providing support to local militias battling ISIS, per USA Today.

  • The AP also reports that there are approximately 5,200 troops in Iraq.
  • Meanwhile, Al Qaeda is gaining ground in the Middle East and North Africa, the Los Angeles Times reports, a move that would force the U.S. and other allies to stay longer and bolster their military operations there.

Go deeper

42 mins ago - World

Blinken says he hasn't seen evidence Hamas was in AP building Israel struck

Smoke rises after sraeli forces destroyed building in Gaza City where Al-Jazeera and Associated Press had their offices. Photo: Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday he had not seen evidence that Hamas was operating in a building that housed offices for Al Jazeera, the AP and other media in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government has claimed, AP reports.

Why it matters: Israel has said the presence of a Hamas military intelligence office justified an airstrike that destroyed the 12-story building on Saturday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that Israeli intelligence had shared proof with the U.S.

AT&T spins off WarnerMedia, forming new media behemoth with Discovery

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AT&T and Discovery have agreed to create a joint venture that would house WarnerMedia’s premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery's nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses, the companies announced Monday.

Why it matters: It's a major course correction by AT&T. The deal essentially confirms shareholder fears that the company's $85 billion merger with Time Warner three years ago was not fully baked.

2 hours ago - Health

Child tax credits from COVID relief plan to begin arriving July 15

Biden arrives in the Rose Garden on May 13. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The expanded monthly child tax credit introduced in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package will begin arriving in parents' bank accounts on July 15, the White House said Monday.

Why it matters: The credit, part of the administration's plan to transform the country's social safety net in the wake of the pandemic, would provide families with $300 monthly cash payments per child up to age 5 and $250 for children ages 6–17.