U.S. Pays $400 a Gallon for Gas in Afghanistan

Monday, October 19, 2009

Being a logistical nightmare has made Afghanistan a costly place to wage war. In the course of debating General Stanley McChrystal’s request for 40,000 additional troops, lawmakers uncovered the fact that it costs $400 a gallon to fuel the vehicles and planes the Pentagon is using to fight the Taliban. Afghanistan lacks a seaport of its own, so fuel must first be shipped to Karachi, Pakistan, and then trucked all the way into Afghanistan, driving up transportation costs of moving fuel.

The pricey fuel is a big reason why it requires about $1 billion a year per 1,000 soldiers fighting in the war. At this rate the government would be expected to shell out $40 billion to pay for McChrystal’s request for more help, which partially explains why so many in Washington are questioning the strategy being employed.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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