Why We Spend $400 per Gallon of Gas in Afghanistan
Danger to convoys forcing military to rely on pricey airlifts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2011 3:36 AM CST
A US Army Chinook helicopter carrying sling-loaded cargo flies to a forward base in Afghanistan.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – By the time it reaches remote military bases in Afghanistan, gasoline costs the US military as much per gallon as Dom Perignon champagne, the Wall Street Journal finds. Moving fuel and other supplies by road in Afghanistan has become so dangerous that the Air Force has increased the amount of supplies it air drops to bases 50-fold since 2005, despite the $400-per-gallon cost—and the technical difficulty of dropping pallets of fuel in rugged terrain.

Even before Pakistan closed the border to NATO fuel convoys following last month's deadly air strike on its troops, the Pentagon was working to overhaul fuel use at remote bases. But for now, air crews will continue working around the clock to bring supplies to thousands of troops in remote outposts. "If you want us to drop something on a postage stamp, by God we'll do it," a C-17 pilot says. "But there's only so many crews."