Pentagon: Each Gallon of Fuel Shipped to Afghanistan Costs $400

October 17, 2009

(ChattahBox)—As debate about the future of the United State’s mission in Afghanistan consumes the Obama administration and lawmakers in Congress, the staggering costs to maintain the war are being examined. According to The Hill, the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee recently sent a request to the Pentagon, asking for a breakdown of the $1 billion price tag to send 1,000 troops to Afghanistan.

The response from the Pentagon comptroller’s office was an eye-opener for lawmakers. One statistic stood out. By the time a gallon of fuel reaches combat vehicles in the rough terrain of Afghanistan, it costs the military $400.

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa), the chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee was astonished by the $400 expenditure for just one gallon of fuel. “When I heard that figure from the Defense Department, we started looking into it,” Murtha told The Hill.

What the military calls, the fully burdened cost of fuel, is due to the high costs associated with transporting fuel over the rough and dangerous terrain of Afghanistan.

A recent Government Accountability Office report stated that, “The fully burdened cost of fuel — that is, the total ownership cost of buying, moving and protecting fuel in systems during combat — has been reported to be many times higher than the price of a gallon of fuel itself.”

According to The Hill piece, a combination of rough terrain in a landlocked nation, few navigable roads, roadside bomb attacks and extreme weather conditions, all add to the final cost of transporting fuel to the troops in the field.

And in remote areas that can’t even be accessed by commercial trucks, fuel must be delivered by air, which significantly adds to the cost.

Th war in Afghanistan has just entered into its ninth year, with no end in sight.


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