20 Billion Bucks A Year To Air Condition Troop Tents In Afganistan & Iraq - Nice Carbon Footprint Eh?

tent interior afganistan

"New Afghanistan FOB tent." Image credit:Flickr, foqus

The 20-billion dollar energy bill for cooling US troop tents in Afghanistan and Iraq each year seems ridiculous until you consider that the R-value of a tent wall is zero and that the fuel for running power generators is imported over goat paths. The Pentagon has figured out how to shave 92% off the energy bill by spraying polyurethane foam on the tents; but, the Majors and Generals are not so fond of it. Who can blame them? Although the Taliban camel can't get his nose under the walls of foamed tents, it's pretty difficult to move a forward operating base (FOB) once they've been slimed with Polyurethane foaming kit Parts A and B. Related: how will the in-tent air quality be?If you want the details, best to read the source article rather than have me reiterate. It's titled Among The Costs Of War: $20B In Air Conditioning.

Extremes in budget cutting,
Either defund NPR so we won't have to hear balding hippies and greenies whining about how much it costs to air condition war tents, or bring the troops home faster and blow up the tents. I don't buy the argument that the US has to keep the air conditioned tents running indefinitely, as implied by the Think Tank Phalanx formation.

"What history has told us is that you don't see a proportional decrease in spending based on the number of troops when you draw them down," Chris Hellman, a senior research analyst at the National Priorities Project, tells Martin.

"In Afghanistan that's going to be particularly true because it's a very difficult and austere environment in which to operate," he says.

That means most war expenditures lie not in the troops themselves but in the infrastructure that supports them -- infrastructure that in some cases will remain in place long after troops are gone.

Somebody is going to construe this as maybe the first anti-war post on TreeHugger.


Image credit: Minnesota Historical Society

I mainly wanted to point out the carbon footprint of hosting the US longest war ever - a footprint dedicated in large part to keeping motor fuel as cheap as possible. Of course we all know that the best solution will be to 'drill here and drill now.' But, that begs the question raisted in the following paragraph.

NPR sorta beat me to the punch on the money thing.

That's more than NASA's budget. It's more than BP has paid so far for damage during the Gulf oil spill. It's what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.

And I thought that Vietnam was complex and upsetting and confusing. At least the carbon footprint thing didn't loom over us (the way it ought to now).

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