…And that’s just in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to NPR:
That’s more than NASA’s budget. It’s more than BP has paid so far for damage during the Gulf oil spill. It’s what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.
Why does it cost so much? Consider the location. Getting fuel to some of the most remote, land-locked sites takes 18 days on “roads that are sometimes little more than ‘improved goat trails.’” And it’s dangerous: an NPR source estimates that more than 1,000 troops have died in fuel convoys, which are typically considered prime targets for insurgents.
Making military structures – often open tents, in the middle of a 125-degree desert – more efficient could cut some of these costs. But the bigger question is whether these high costs for basic survival of American troops are sustainable over the long term, especially with so many pressing problems lacking federal dollars here
PHOTO: Air conditioners keep tents cool on a military base in Iraq. Via NPR.org.