​Still, a close look at U.S. military statistics shows that Afghan soldiers and police officers are far more expensive than you’d expect. They are paid an average of just $1,872 a year, but the overall cost of training and fielding a police officer is roughly $30,000 per year, while the cost of each soldier is nearly $46,000 per year. the United States bears virtually all of those costs, adding up to more than $3.5 billion a year…

Military statistics show that many of the Afghans’ expenses mirror costs incurred by the U.S. and its NATO allies: building new bases, maintaining existing ones, and moving gas, fuel and other supplies across a large country with few paved or safe roads.

Consider the Afghan army, many of whose 170,000 soldiers make roughly $156 per month. The Afghan government – mostly using funds from the U.S. – spends $2,437,200,000 per year equipping its overall force, or $14,336 per soldier. Those expenses alone – which go toward purchasing aircraft, vehicles, weapons, body armor and other equipment – are eight times as high as the total yearly salary of the average soldier.