Despite strenuous efforts to
reduce fuel use in war time, the U.S. Department of Defense fuel bill has more
than doubled in the last five years. In 2003, 142.5 million barrels were used,
costing $4.9 billion. In 2004, it was 144 million barrels, costing $5 billion.
Then, growing demand from India and China sent the price of oil (and many other
raw materials) on a rapidly escalating
upward path. In 2005, fuel use was down to 132.8 million barrels, but
cost was up to $7.8 billion. Two years ago, it was 130.7 million barrels and
$11.6 billion, and last year use was up a bit, to 132.5 million barrels, but
cost reached $12 billion. The Department of Defense consumes about 1.5 percent
of all fuel used in the United States. Still, fuel expenses are a small part (less
than three percent) of the military budget. The biggest item is payroll.
other military raw materials has also gone way up, including metals used in the
manufacture of ammunition for rifles and machine-guns. The price of such ammo
has doubled since 2003. Again, it's demand from the rapidly growing economies
of India and China. Together, these two nations contain about a third of the