The War Machine is Addicted to Oil

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by Ian Angus

Some statistics from Energy Bulletin:

  • The US Air Force has 5,986 aircraft.
  • The US Navy has 285 combat and support ships, and about 4,000 operational aircraft.
  • The US Army has about 28,000 armored vehicles 4,000 combat helicopters and several hundred airplanes. In addition, the Army and the Marines have about 140,000 “High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles.”
  • On top of all that, the US Department of Defense has 187,493 cars, trucks and buses.

All of those vehicles use oil. Lots and lots and lots of oil.

Energy Bulletin comments:

“Yes, the US military is completely addicted to oil. Unsurprisingly, its oil consumption for aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and facilities makes the Pentagon the single largest oil consumer in the world. By the way, according to the 2006 CIA World Factbook rankings there are only 35 countries (out of 210) in the world that consume more oil per day than the Pentagon.“According to recently released ‘Annual Energy Management Report,’ in Fiscal Year 2006 the Pentagon consumed 320,000 barrels per day of site delivered oil, compared to about 360,000 barrels per day in 2005. Note that these and all other official figures do not include fuel obtained at no cost overseas, fuel consumed by contractors, fuel consumed in some leased and privatized facilities, and not last but least oil consumed by certain leased and rented fleet vehicles.

“While the official figures for military oil consumption went down in 2006, the costs went to the sky. In 2005 DoD had spent slightly over $8.5 billion for oil but this figure reached $17 billion in 2006. Note that oil accounts for 85% of the DoD’s $20 billion energy consumption costs in 2006.”

Reasonable conclusion: By bringing the troops home from Iraq, abolishing the US armed forces, and closing down the Pentagon, we could significantly reduce US greenhouse gas emissions.

And we could increase the effect by getting Canadian soldiers out of Afghanistan and diverting the Department of National Defense’s $17 Billion annual budget to mass transit and alternative energy development.

And then Australia, and Europe, and Japan, and …