Logistics: India and China and The Cost Of War

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May 21,2008: 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.

Costs of 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 planets population.

 


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