7239life's little ironies
- Apr 1, 2003-----------------
The sight of US army Humvee troop carriers stranded in the Iraqi desert
waiting for refuelling tankers to catch up with them has not only alarmed
commanders in the battlefield. It has also highlighted efforts by the US
military to develop a new generation of vehicles that rely on new forms
of propulsion, cutting the cost of fuel and reducing US dependence on
foreign sources of oil for future global military missions.
The fuel cost numbers are startling. A gallon of modified jet fuel, which
is used in tanks as well as aircraft, costs only 84 cents when bought
wholesale from multinational oil companies such as Shell and ExxonMobil.
By the time the cost of transporting the fuel to the battlefield is added,
that sum can rise to hundreds of dollars per gallon.
The US army says that for the campaign in Afghanistan, where there are no
reliable or significant sources of fuel, the army depends on fuel flown
in by helicopter from ships in the Indian Ocean. The cost per gallon:
about $600 (557, £381).
The US army estimates it costs about $150 per gallon for fuel used in
Iraq. The fuel comes from 23 US military dumps scattered across the Middle
East, a number that was doubled in preparation for the current conflict.
There's something particularly -- ummm, Swiftian? or perhaps Vonnegutian --
about American taxpayers paying $150/gal for fuel for vehicles to fight a
war at least one of whose purposes is to keep fuel cheap for American taxpayers.
Not to mention hastening to do fundamental research needed to release the
armed forces from their dependence on foreign sources of oil, so that they
may more confidently complete their global missions -- which are mostly
motivated by the domestic population's abject dependence on, er, foreign
sources of oil.
this article was not dated April 1 :-)
:De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
:Mail: de@... | :
:Web: www.ucolick.org | Don't Fear the Penguins :
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