Fan belts and Alternators

June 26, 2008

Any idiot general worth his star should have seen this coming.
Although a few military types did pipe up, they were shouted down by Decider George and his warrior-in-camp, Damn-Dumb Don Rumsfeld.
Now it’s broken-back, breakdown:

  • WASHINGTON — The Pentagon faces a more than $100 billion bill to repair and replace worn out or destroyed equipment, vehicles and weapons, officials and members of Congress say, but paying for it may endanger plans to boost the size of the military.
    The military is scrambling to re-equip because the Pentagon failed to plan for the long and expensive war in Iraq, said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who chairs the House panel that oversees military spending.

    More than five years of simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have ground down military equipment.
    Humvees, for example, travel as much as 100,000 miles a year in Iraq, five times the peacetime rate. Heavy armor strains engines and axles.
    Military operations have cost $572 billion since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Pentagon records show.

    Just how high the bill will go depends on when U.S. troops leave Iraq and how much equipment is upgraded rather than repaired, said Andrew Krepinevich, executive director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

    USA Today, (6/25/08)

Bad equipment and the dying continues.
Today in Iraq, three US Marines and two interpreters were killed in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad, in another one of those cross-fire suicide bombing intended for pro-US Iraqis during.
While yesterday, Wednesday, four US GIs were killed, three in Ninevah province and the fourth in an EFP attack in Baghdad.

And in Afghanistan, where the situation is getting worse, three US-led coalition soldiers and a local-national interpreter were killed in a roadside bomb, bringing the foreign forces killed there this month to 39, the highest monthly toll of the war there — about to enter its seventh year.

An informative insight into the attrition rate of US equipment in two very troublesome wars, especially in the area of fuel consumption, was given by Robert Bryce last March, published by The American Conservative.
Titled “Oil for War,” the article revealed what a shattering, ironic mess Decider George and his cronies have provoked.
Some snips:

  • 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.

    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.

    The MRAPs mean even greater demand for fuel from U.S. troops in Iraq.
    An armored Humvee covers perhaps 8 miles per gallon of fuel.
    One version of the MRAP, the Maxxpro, weighs about 40,000 pounds, and according to a source within the military, gets just 3 miles per gallon.
    The increased demand for fuel for the MRAPs will come alongside the need for an entirely new set of tires, fan belts, windshields, alternators, and other gear.

And there’s no apparent end in sight.
Although this week a glimpse into something in the future.
The Task Force for a Responsible Withdrawal for Iraq, a 20-member committee which met last March, laid out a blueprint to pull the US ass out of a wringer.
Titled, “Quickly, Carefully, and Generously: The Necessary Steps for a Responsible Withdrawal from Iraq,” the committee’s report proposes a basis for a complete withdrawal of American forces within 12 to 18 months — starting first with a modified UN mandate for Iraqi aid and support in a gradual American troop draw-down.

A good look at the Task Force report is found here.

One knows, however, Decider George ain’t gonna go for it.
He ain’t pumped gas into a car in decades — has no idea where a fan belt or alternator would be located, and wouldn’t know the function of each.
And he won’t when he gets back to the ranch.

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