by Gregory Patin
Cash crop in Afghanistan. Source: http://whatreallyhappened.com/category/afghanistan
According to a Pentagon report submitted to the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, a gallon of fuel costs taxpayers about $400 by the time it arrives in the remote locations in Afghanistan where U.S. troops operate.
That statistic is one of the reasons cited by the Pentagon to explain why the deployment of each individual soldier in Afghanistan costs U.S. taxpayers $1 million per year. That means a surge of 45,000 troops would cost U.S. taxpayers an additional $45 billion per year.
In an interview with The Hill, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), the chairman of the House Appropriations Defense panel said, "It is a number that we were not aware of and it is worrisome. When I heard that figure from the Defense Department, we started looking into it."
That statistic is likely to factor into the debate regarding the deployment of an additional 45,000 troops to Afghanistan.
A large part of the reason for that is logistics. Afghanistan is a landlocked country. Supplies such as fuel have to be shipped to Karachi, Pakistan before they are flown or trucked into Afghanistan. Due to a large insurgent presence along land routes in Afghanistan, the only way for fuel to safely reach U.S. troops in remote bases is for it to be contained in fuel bladders and flown in with helicopters. The helicopters that fly it in consume nearly as much fuel as they can carry on the round trip.