Fed up with the price of gas? We feel your pain. Depending on what state you live in, gas is likely to be found for somewhere between three and four dollars per gallon – and make no mistake, that figure is enough to amount to a sizable chunk of the average American's monthly paycheck.

A new Pentagon report obtained by The Wall Street Journal suggests that American motorists should consider themselves lucky to have such affordable fuel: U.S. military operations stationed in Afghanistan are paying a lot more than that... up to $400 per gallon of fuel delivered to troops on the ground – 100 times what we are asked to shell out. Yikes.

The astronomical cost of fuel is due in part to how it must be delivered: by parachute. Huge military cargo planes operated by the Air Force fly to a remote drop zone and send dozens of pallets to the ground, containing items like food, water and, of course, fuel.

There's more bad news. Due to the dangers of setting up ground-based supply convoys, the military fully expects that air-drops will be increasingly necessary in the coming months and years. And that means our military's fuel bill is only going to get more and more expensive.

Check out a couple of video reports explaining the issue after the break.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      We should have approached this totally unnecessary war by putting our soldiers on all the wild and tame horses that have been destroyed over the last 10 years. We could have taken a lessen from what the Taliban and AlQaeda did to the Russian armament during Russia's occupation. I believe when Charlie Wilson made it his war he actually made it OUR war.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      The cost of armed convoys to get fuel in overland can't be far short of $400/gallon, so using helicopters instead may not make too much difference to cost.
        Ryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        We pay a lot if a soldier dies, let alone the trauma and disruption to the survivors lives.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          Yeah, I was sticking to the economic terms used in the article, but of course the real cost includes death to many.
      EV Now
      • 3 Years Ago
      "up to $400 per gallon of fuel delivered to troops on the ground – 100 times what we are asked to shell out." Yes - but have you ever tried to get a gallon of oil from the Arabian Sea to Khandahar ? I guess not.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's totally wrong for America to send its soldiers to Afghanistan.
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why don't the US troops get fuel from Afghanistan's current fuel distribution system? Surely Afghanistan already had gas stations and gas/diesel distribution systems long before the US invaded. If Afghanistan doesn't want to use their current fuel distribution network for US troops, we should get the heck out.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PR
        Afghanistan is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. Patchy supplies of fuel of uncertain quality is not what a modern army runs on. If by a fuel supply system you mean that you can usually get hold of a can of kerosene that is fine, but irrelevant.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I also support solar power, and am invested in companies that make solar PV panels.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          The US forces would drain Afghanistan dry within a few days if we used their distribution channels. They can barely bring in enough liquid fuels for themselves, importing 100% of all petroleum products... "Additionally, fuel quality is quite poor compared to international standards and is often adulterated." http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADT239.pdf
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Thanks, LTAW. To be clear I have supported solar power for 40 years, which is one of the reasons why seeing it misused as a vehicle for con-men and the innumerate in utterly inappropriate ways gets my goat. Used where it fulfils sensible criteria such as is it a location which is hard to get conventional power to, off grid, in the Third World in the tropics and so on it is great. What it cannot possibly do with anything like present technology is run an advanced industrial economy, and those who say it can are either lying, ill-informed or living in dreamland.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ltaw That is a fun problem. Too many solar panels, overloading the grid! :) Marco! Any input on this?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Thought you might be interested in this, DaveMart: "Rooftop solar panels overloading electricity grid" In a letter to the NSW pricing regulator, obtained by The Australian, Ausgrid warns that in areas with a high concentration of solar cells, voltage levels can rise and this can have "consequences for appliances and equipment in customers' homes". It can also cause solar systems to switch off. In Queensland, some new applications for rooftop solar systems have been rejected and Energex now urges customers to check that a solar PV system can be installed without threatening the operation of the network. In Western Australia, Horizon Power has set limits on how much renewable energy can be installed in a system without affecting the power supply. Horizon is rejecting applications for new renewables installations in Exmouth and Carnarvon, and accepting them only from households, schools and not-for-profit organisations in Broome and Leonora. Energex spokesman Mike Swanston said it was becoming difficult for electricity distribution authorities to set up the power system to ensure correct voltages when some houses in a street had solar and others did not. "It is similar to the water network - the pipes get smaller and the pressure is designed to be lower as you get closer to the house," Mr Swanston said. "Start pumping water backwards into the smaller household pipes, and all sorts of strange things happen." Energy Networks Association acting chief executive John Deveraux said the problem would only get worse as more rooftop solar panels were installed and the systems got bigger." http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-plan/rooftop-solar-panels-overloading-electricity-grid/story-fn99tjf2-1226165360822 This is a big part of why so many solar/wind generation plans are planning on using hydrogen fuel cells to level out the production, correct?
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PR
        Hm.. that wouldn't be the only reason we should get the heck out, but you have a point :)
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      If they would have stayed focused on this war instead of getting spread too thin into Iraq, the Afghanistan war could have been wrapped up years ago.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      The need more solar panels at bases and EV motorcycles.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        actually, that is a great idea. A remote base may have no power, or operate on generators, which can break down. Anything that can promote self suffienciency in the field.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          LOL! I am thinking about the buildings in the center of a base. The Taliban don't exactly have an air force that they could use to drop bombs on shiny buildings.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @Ezee Yep, that's a great idea. "Lets put up some large shiny solar panels, sergeant, while you're at it, paint some bull eyes on them, the enemy need target practise! "
      gen.genn
      • 3 Years Ago
      I served in the 91 Gulf War ( USMC ) I retired as a Lt. Col from my Corp I was a young LT back in 91 & told my men "Guys no matter what the ups say ( upper officers ) we're here for one reason Exxon" fast forward to 2011 & look at the results ... War for Oil what a joke I now drive a Chevy Volt as my daily & only break out my 2010 Nissan GT on Saturdays sometime Friday nights with wifey.. we have solar panels, solar water & geo thermal at my home the Gov of my state paid me a visit and to thank me for being the 1st neg carbon home in my state, our util meter runs in the wrong direction, we're GIVING energy back to our util co. It was well worth the investment .
        Actionable Mango
        • 3 Years Ago
        @gen.genn
        Last I checked there wasn't oil in Afghanistan, so maybe you can elaborate on your reasoning.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Even worse is that we have been secretly subsidizing oil from that region for decades by meddling in the middle east's affairs to keep the spice flowing. Look into the history books and you'll realize that. Some politicians have openly admitted it. I hate to be simplistic here, but roughly 1/4th of our federal budget goes to our military, and for the last few decades, the majority of that money has gone into "keeping the middle east stable". $400 per gallon oil in Afghanistan pales in comparison to what we've spent in terms of dollars and American lives in keeping the spice flowing..
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Are they recycling the containers ?
      ronwagn
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would really like to have the Middle East veterans tell us to stay or leave. Let the enlisted men take a vote. I am inclined to bring them home and put them on the Mexican border.
      diffrunt
      • 3 Years Ago
      bring em home, ALL of em.
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