• Empires Die Ugly

    July 1, 2011

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State, Iraq, Other Ideas

    The amount the US military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion*.

    “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,” estimated Steven Anderson. Anderson is a retired brigadier general who served as Gen. David Patreaus’ chief logistician in Iraq.

    Meanwhile, a spokesman for Iraq’s Electricity Ministry announced that the government would only be able to provide around half of the public’s needs this summer. Last year, temperatures rose to 120 degrees, and people took to the streets in anger. Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki sacked the Electricity Ministry, and then banned all protests. That unrest could be repeated again this year, despite all the government’s promises of new power projects.

    Also, on June 25, the director general at the Ministry of Electricity was assassinated in southeast Baghdad.

    Photo: a typical neighborhood in Baghdad, where everyone is stealing power from, well, everyone.

    * Anderson says he calculated the cost of fuel as follows:

    The short answer to your question is that my calculations are based on the Fully Burdened Cost of Fuel (FBCF), which includes overhead such as route clearance, road maint, security/escorts, command and control, medevac, etc. My conservative number is the fully burdened fuel costs are $30/gallon for Afghanistan, $18/gallon for Iraq (much better transportation network). When I was the senior staff logistician in Iraq from Aug 06 – Nov 07, DLA-Energy estimated the FBCF as $13.44/gallon, by the way. Deloitte studied issue in Nov 09 and wrote fully burdened cost is $45/gallon when ground transport exceeds 950 miles (see attached report). In consideration of the fact that most fuel is transported from US to Karachi, then driven over perhaps the most mountainous and challenging roads in the world to one of the two US/NATO Afghan log bases (Kandahar and Bagram), then downloaded to strategic storage, then uploaded to other trucks and moved to the actual requirement (usually in excess of 950 miles total) in hundreds of [Forward Operating Bases] throughout Afghanistan, one can see that my estimate is indeed quite conservative. I low-balled it so that folks don’t think I’m cooking the books somehow.

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