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The Pentagon Burns 395,000 Barrels of Oil Per Day

11:01 AM EDT on July 25, 2008

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It's always a bit of a mind-boggler when some statistics emerge showing how much oil the U.S. military consumes. From yesterday's Politico:

So, you think you've got the gas prices blues. Just consider Al Shaffer, the man in charge of drafting an energy strategy for the gas-­guzzling Pentagon.

With wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and troops spread around the world, the Department of Defense is the nation's biggest oil consumer, burning 395,000 barrels per day -- about as much as Greece.

Rep. Steve Israel, a Democrat from Long Island who formed a Defense Energy Working Group back in 2004 after learning that the the Army's Stryker combat vehicles got only 5 miles per gallon of gas, sums it up as such:

"Here is our current defense posture," Israel said. "We are borrowing money from China to fund our defense budgets to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to fund our military to protect us from China and the Persian Gulf. It is an insidious vulnerability."

And that's not even including the part about destroying the planet.

The U.S. military's insatiable thirst for oil isn't exactly news. Blood and Oil author Michael Klare wrote a nice piece on this same topic last year:

Sixteen gallons of oil. That's how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis... Multiply that daily tab by 365 and you get 1.3 billion gallons: the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia. That's greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million

The Allied war effort during World War 2 was fueled by six billon barrels of American oil.

Photo: Jacobnbailey / Flickr

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