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Costly Helicopter Rides for U.S. Officials Show Afghanistan’s Security Decline

A U.S. soldier mans a gun at the back gate aboard a helicopter in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 24, 2017.

A U.S. soldier mans a gun at the back gate aboard a helicopter in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 24, 2017.

Photographer: Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Getty Images

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The deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan is turning up in a new way: The cost for U.S. personnel to take a three-mile helicopter flight to Kabul’s airport is surging.

The State Department, which contracts with DynCorp International Inc. to provide flights from the embassy in Kabul for U.S. civilian aid workers and well as personnel from the Treasury Department, FBI and other agencies, is proposing to increase the cost of the trip to about $2,250 next year, up from $1,350 currently.