Re: MEDIA/TV: How to present the 'War on Terrorism'

From: James Rogers (
Date: Sat Sep 22 2001 - 12:15:22 MDT

On 9/22/01 10:02 AM, "Michael Wiik" <> wrote:
> Mike Lorrey <> wrote:
>> I thought of something like this, but more along the lines of a bounty
>> on Taliban: $100 US for each rifle and Taliban head brought in.
> It would be interesting to know the average cost per dead enemy soldier
> for the various wars of the 20th century. I think $100 may be a
> pittance, perhaps $1000/taliban head is doable. I dunno how well
> bounty-induced killings would fare on the evening news, however,
> especially if it looks iffy that this dead guy in a turban with a long
> beard is actually an enemy combatant.

The U.S. and the British have the distinction of having some of the most
expensive soldiers in the world. The cost of creating a soldier from a
civilian costs well in excess of US$60,000 for training and equipment. When
you consider that large artillery shells and bombs cost less than $1,000 a
piece, you can see why the US military prefers to expend vast quantities of
ordnance rather than risk the life of a soldier -- soldiers are a lot more
expensive and take longer to replace.

That said, the average third-world AK-series weapon is worth about $50.
Considering the relative lack of training and equipment spent per soldier in
those parts, I doubt that the average third-world soldier is worth more than
a thousand dollars, and probably much less when you are talking about an
impressed militia. I would guess that when you consider the state of the
local economies in Afghanistan (per capita GDP: ~$178, one of the lowest in
the world according to several resources), US$20 would be a very adequate
bounty for an AK rifle. I'm sure the influx of American dollars would be
good for the (underground) economy as well.

-James Rogers

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