Air conditioning for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan costs $20.2 billion a year

Discussion in 'Economics' started by misterno, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. end of an empire

    Keeping American soldiers cool in the 125-degree heat of Afghanistan and Iraq costs $20.2 billion a year, according to a report from National Public Radio (NPR).

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    ShareNPR says that is more than the budget for NASA. And as Mother Jones points out, it is more than double the budget for the National School Lunch Program.

    The cost comes not just from operating the air-conditioning units — which in many cases are attached to individual tents — but from transporting the fuel to run the gas-powered machines to remote locations like Kandahar.

    As retired Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson said on the NPR program "All Things Considered," "When you consider the cost to deliver the fuel to some of the most isolated places in the world — escorting, command and control, medevac support — when you throw all that infrastructure in, we're talking over $20 billion." Anderson recently served as chief logistician in Iraq for Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

    Every gallon of fuel needed to run military air conditioners in Afghanistan must first be flown into Karachi, Pakistan. It is then transported by convoy as far as 800 miles to bases and outposts, a journey that can take 18 days.

    According to Anderson, more than 1,000 U.S. troops have died defending fuel convoys. He says that making free-standing tents more efficient could save money and lives.

    There are ideas about how to achieve greater efficiency. Anderson points to an experimental process that covers tents with polyurethane foam insulation that can reduce air-conditioning energy use by 92 percent. But despite ongoing initiatives to make the U.S. military more efficient, Anderson says the polyurethane idea has yet to gain support. "A simple policy signed by the secretary of defense — a one- or two-page memo, saying we will no longer build anything other than energy-efficient structures in Iraq and Afghanistan — would have a profound impact," he said.

    The need for fuel also slows down military operations. One commander in Afghanistan told Anderson that "He literally has to stop his combat operations for two days every two weeks so he can go back and get his fuel. And when he's gone, the enemy knows he's gone, and they go right back to where they were before. He has to start his counter-insurgency operations right back at square one."

    According to a report from the Daily Mail, the total annual budget for the war in Afghanistan is $107 billion.
  2. come on, the entire fuel cost for the entire military is 15 billion bucks, so how is air conditioning 20 billion, is this like michele bachmans claim that obamas trip overseas was going to cost 200 million?
  3. Why waste time questioning the cost of air conditioning. Doesn't it make more sense to question the purpose of the wars? It doesn't matter who wins the war or whatever purpose the war is trying to achieve if the end result is the bankruptcy of the United States.
  4. snatched a glance at the pbs newhour last night where in Iraq ? Afghanistan ?
    solar cell units - 4 5 6 ? panels in a unit are being used to replace generators
    and units were spread around the compound. info's probably still on the pbs site
  5. These wars are like letting an ex run off on a shopping spree with your credit card.
  6. It is insane that fuel has to be flown in when they're right next to Iran's massive supply.
  7. somehow i didnt envision the so called toughest fighting men in the world needing air conditioned tents.
  8. that's cause the chair force out-numbers the trigger pullers 10 to 1
  9. Bob111


    +1..i have exact same question: what US is doing in afganistan anyway? did the afganistan AND IT"S GVT pose any threat to US? did they invade US or something? did they declare war on US? wtf US troops are doing over there ? aren't they suppose to protect US soil ?
    this whole thing is just disgusting..but what even more disgusting that the Barry O got peace prize for all that shit
  10. That is because you are a Kool-Aid drinking pussy.
    #10     Jun 30, 2011