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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Where fuel is $100/gallon

Just imagine the size of the carbon footprint!
Think for a moment the role played by gasoline and other fuels in the current conflicts, three times greater than was the norm per soldier in Vietnam. A modern US soldier requires 22 gallons of fuel per day. American forces in Iraq alone are supplied by a fleet of 5,500 fuel trucks. The Pentagon estimates that the cost of fuel delivered to the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq averages $45 per gallon, including all expenses but excluding legacy costs like interest on borrowing money to buy the fuel in the first place. The fuel goes into Blackhawk helicopters which use about five gallons of aviation fuel every minute they are in the air, armored Humvees which get 8 miles per gallon, Stryker combat vehicles at 3 miles per gallon, and the new generation of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles which are being introduced into Afghanistan in large numbers to defend against roadside bombs. The MRAPs undeniably save lives, but they are heavily armored, weighing from fourteen and up to 52 tons depending on how they are configured. The lightest ones get only 4 miles per gallon of fuel and the heaviest less than a mile per gallon. Because the money is borrowed to pay for the fuel, the final true cost to the US taxpayer will likely exceed $100 per gallon when the current level of war debt is finally amortized around the year 2017.
-- from "The Cost of War" by Philip Giraldi (November 26, 2009).

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