Feb 7, 2018

U.S. expected to spend $45 billion in Afghanistan this year

A U.S. soldier stands guard at Kandahar Air base in Afghanistan. Photo: Shah Marai / AFP / Getty Images

The assistant secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, Randall Schriver, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that the U.S. will spend an estimated $45 billion on the war in Afghanistan this year, the Hill reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has been in Afghanistan for almost 17 years; President Trump announced a new strategy months ago, but there has been skepticism about whether or not it will force the Taliban into peace talks.

  • Schriver broke down the 2018 spending, per the Hill: roughly $13 billion for U.S. forces, $5 billion for Afghan forces, $780 million for economic aid, and the remaining funds for logistical aid.
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley was skeptical the Taliban would be interested in "a political settlement," as they "control more territory than they did since 2001," according to the Hill. The Taliban is currently operating in 70% of Afghanistan.
  • Sen. Rand Paul said the $45 billion is "just being thrown down a hatch in Afghanistan," per the Hill.

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: First case in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Nigeria confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in an Italian who flew to Lagos from Milan — the first known case in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization has been working to prepare Africa's health care systems to be ready for the outbreak, which is now also confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,700 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Ad spending on 2020 primary tops $1 billion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.