- The Washington Times - Monday, May 13, 2013

It’s going to cost the United States about $7 billion to withdraw from Afghanistan, defense experts estimate.

Part of the challenge is that Afghanistan is still a hot spot of fighting, said Alan Estevez, the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for logistics said on Bloomberg. That contrasts from Iraq, where “the fighting had for a good extent stopped” and U.S. troops could withdraw without much worry, he said.

In Afghanistan, “there’s still certainly an active insurgency and an active fight and essentially we’re in contact with the enemy as we do this,” Mr. Estevez said on Bloomberg. “All of those things make it difficult and increase the risk of our departure as we pull out.”

The United States is expected to withdraw forces by the end of 2014. In addition to troops, the U.S. has to transport Humvees, helicopters, drones and 12½-ton mine-resistant vehicles by rail and by truck from Karachi, Pakistan, to the Baltic Sea, Bloomberg reported.

The Army maintains the largest footprint in Afghanistan, with about $27 billion worth of equipment, Mr. Estevez said. The other military branches maintain smaller stocks and supplies in the country, he said.

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