As debate over the Afghan war heats up, expect Congress to heavily quote a new statistic from the Pentagon: $400. That’s how much the US pays, on average, for every gallon of fuel put into its planes and combat vehicles in Afghanistan, military officials recently told the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “It is a number that we were not aware of, and it is worrisome,” John Murtha tells The Hill.
The subcommittee had asked the Pentagon to break down why it spends about $1 billion for every 1,000 troops deployed. The fuel bill is so high because Afghanistan is both inaccessible and underdeveloped. Fuel has to be shipped in through Pakistan, and then, since roads are scarce, it often must be flown to remote forward operating bases. “These are fairly major problems for us,” one General told a Navy energy forum this week.