Monday, June 09, 2008
Iraq War, Peak Oil, Rummy, and the PNAC
The American Conservative
March 10, 2008
Oil for War
After invading one of the most petroleum-rich countries on earth, the U.S. military is running on empty.
by Robert Bryce
Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach. That may have been true for his 19th-century force. But the modern American military runs on jet fuel—and lots of it.
Today the average American G.I. in Iraq uses about 20.5 gallons of fuel every day, more than double the daily volume consumed by U.S. soldiers in Iraq in 2004. Thus, in order to secure the third-richest country on the planet, the U.S. military is burning enormous quantities of petroleum. And nearly every drop of that fuel is imported into Iraq. These massive fuel requirements—just over 3 million gallons per day for Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Energy Support Center—are a key reason for the soaring cost of the war effort.
Controlling Iraq’s oil has historically been a vital factor in America’s involvement in Iraq and was always a crucial element of the Bush administration’s plans for the post-Saddam era. Of course, that’s not how the war was sold to the American people. A few months before the invasion, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared that the looming war had “nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil.” The war was necessary, its planners claimed, because Saddam Hussein supported terrorism and, left unchecked, he would unleash weapons of mass destruction on the West.
In 2007 alone, the U.S. military in Iraq burned more than 1.1 billion gallons of fuel. (American Armed Forces generally use a blend of jet fuel known as JP-8 to propel both aircraft and automobiles.) About 5,500 tanker trucks are involved in the Iraqi fuel-hauling effort. That fleet of trucks is enormously costly. In November 2006, a study produced by the U.S. Military Academy estimated that delivering one gallon of fuel to U.S. soldiers in Iraq cost American taxpayers $42—and that didn’t include the cost of the fuel itself. At that rate, each U.S. soldier in Iraq is costing $840 per day in fuel delivery costs, and the U.S. is spending $923 million per week on fuel-related logistics in order to keep 157,000 G.I.s in Iraq. Given that the Iraq War is now costing about $2.5 billion per week, petroleum costs alone currently account for about one-third of all U.S. military expenditure in Iraq.
And all this from a Conservative magazine. It looks like peak oil has finally became a reality to the Conservatives, why even the Neoconservatives are now fleeing the scene that is evolving in the White House. As noted by GEF the other day. they have shut down their website, " Project for the New American Century", which is increasingly coming under fire for the statements in some of their documents. Like this famous one...
"Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor"