Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the $400 figure to the Congressional Research Service. The number is from the Pentagon.
Last year, the price of gasoline in the United States topped the $4 per gallon mark.
This year in Afghanistan, the price has topped $400.
The stunning revelation emerged Thursday in a report from the Pentagon to House officials. The information conveyed offers new insight into a recent report by the Congressional Research Service, which found that the US spends $1 million per year for each servicemember on the ground in Afghanistan.
Why so much? The cost includes shipping, which sometimes includes the pricetag of a helicopter flight. Sending fuel by helicopter is woefully inefficient, because it uses up almost as much fuel as it carries.
Speaking to the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, House Appropriations chairman John Murtha (D-PA) said the figure was “worrisome” and “we started looking into it.”
Afghanistan is also landlocked, meaning that fuel must be transported in ways that stretch the limits of economic reason.
Because the country has no seaports, fuel is shipped to Karachi, in Pakistan, then carried across land by commercial trucks through Afghanistan. For remote bases, gasoline is sometimes transported by air.
“One of the most expensive ways to supply fuel is by transporting it in bladders carried by helicopter; the amount that can be flown at one time can barely satisfy the need for fuel,” the Hill notes.
The paper notes that the $400 pricetag is referred to in Pentagon argot as the “fully burdened cost of fuel.”
The government’s Defense Energy Support Center provides fuel to the military at $2.78 per gallon, the conveyance of which then grows exponentially more expensive as it travels through dangerous combat zones.
Gen. James Conway, who runs the Marine Corps, told a Navy forum that perilous risky routes up gasoline that originally cost $1.04 gallon up to $400.
“These are fairly major problems for us,” Conway was quoted as saying.
Conservative columnist blasts GOP as ‘partisan hacks for whom hypocrisy is second-nature’
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump once again ripped into The Squad, this time to undercut an emotional press conference in which Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MN) described the conditions her Palestinian relatives live under.
“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” the president tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”
Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!
Convicted Cardinal Pell’s fate hangs on appeal
An Australian court will rule on George Pell's appeal against child sex abuse charges Wednesday, when the convicted cardinal could walk free or begin a new round in his protracted legal fight.
Once the Vatican's third-ranking official, 78-year-old Pell was sentenced this year to six years in jail for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys at a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s.
After more than two months of deliberations, a three-judge appeals panel will hand down their decision.
Pell is the most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse, making his case and Wednesday's ruling a touchstone moment for believers and victims groups around the world.
Trump-worshipping artist unveils insanely disturbing new painting — and the internet is having a field day
Jon McNaughton, the Trump-loving artist whose worshipful portraits of the president have drawn comparisons to North Korean propaganda, has unveiled a new painting that many Twitter users find deeply disturbing.
The new painting, which is titled "The Masterpiece," features President Donald Trump sitting at an easel and preparing to unveil a painting of his own.