It's no secret that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become quite expensive for U.S. taxpayers. But a former chief of military logistics in Iraq says the cost of air conditioning alone costs the federal government billions every year. "In essence, what we're doing is we're air conditioning the desert over there in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places," retired brigadier general Steven Anderson, a former chief logistician for Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq, says, as quoted by Britain's Telegraph. Why is it so expensive? To air condition remote bases in Afghanistan, raw fuel is shipped into Pakistan, and then transported over hundreds of miles of "improved goat trails" for up to two weeks. That's not cheap. Here, a look at the cost of keeping the troops cool, by the numbers:
The military's annual air-conditioning cost in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Anderson's calculations
NASA's 2011 budget
Amount the Obama administration requested to train and equip Afghan security forces in the coming year
Estimated total cost to the U.S. for the intervention in Libya through September
Total government funds that Planned Parenthood receives each year
Temperature that can be reached inside a tent in Iraq without air conditioning
Cost of a gallon of gas once all the expenses of delivering it to troops in the field are factored in, according to Anderson
Cost per gallon in Afghanistan, where many military units are serving in remote areas with poor roads
Estimate of the number of soldiers who have died during insurgent attacks on fuel convoys, a frequent target
Decrease in air conditioning costs in experiments that use polyurethane foam insulation for tents in Iraq
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 10 things you need to know today: October 21, 2014
- The stories behind 22 classic album covers
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
Subscribe to the Week