From 2001 through fiscal 2006, the US Congress appropriated $76 billion for operations in Afghanistan. That's over $15 billion a year, an amount that has now been seen as insufficient.
2) We could round it up to a nice even $20 or $25 billion a year in cash and just hand it over to the populace, after first making them recite the Pledge of Allegiance and cross their hearts and hope to die if they do anything bad. Additionally, a special "Cash for Guns" program could be offered to the hard-core Taliban, similar to those put in place in some crime-ridden US inner cities.Instead of 30,000 extra US troops being sent, we could then hire only a few hundred out-of-work corporate Comptrollers to disburse the money evenly (Jobs too!!!), with another few hundred Blackwater tough guys to protect the cash itself. Further savings in money and lives could be realized by parachuting in a few thousand fully-loaded Coke machines around the countryside, and setting up several hundred McDonald's franchises. Not only would the profits come back to the USA, but after a couple of years, the Taliban would be so obese and lethargic, they wouldn't even be able to lift an RPG launcher, let alone have the motivation to fire one. Phase 3 might involve endless reruns of "Family Guy" and "That 70s Show" to be shown on Afghan television, to complete the "Hearts and Minds" portion of the pacification process. Eventually, the entire operation could be handed off to The Walt Disney Company: the name "Afghanisland" has a nice ring to it.??