The Pentagon Burns 395,000 Barrels of Oil Per Day


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

  • I have doing math here. Good thing I’m not a complete moron.

    “The U.S. military’s insatiable thirst for oil isn’t exactly news.” Aaron

    I think the US public is complicit in this. This is not a negative, because that mean we can change it. We can’t split up issues into parts. It’s the attitude of Americans and their addiction to consumption that has led to this problem. The government works for us. We have to decide that we don’t want to do this anymore.

    We have to decide that we don’t want to just mindlessly spend money, drive our cars and passively support the killing of people so we can continue to do this just so that we can have an “easy” life. And how easy is it?

    To me the consumer attitude of the American public is like that of a person addicted to fastfood or heroin, it seems easier until it kills you (or even worse doesn’t kill you, but just makes you extremely sick and powerless) and you don’t even remember how to grow and make your own food anymore, you don’t know how to be normal anymore and then your beholden to some corporate machine in order to just be baseline.

    Is that what we want, to just be baseline. That seems to me to bring nothing but sadness.

    The economy doing badly has hurt my little toe, but not nearly as much as my associates who drive cars, who buy new clothes on credit cards, who only find value in life from the items that they own. It seems to me we should just stop and reevaluate what is important and what is not important. I think the planet is important, people are important, trees are important, water is important and none of those things have anything to do with my credit rating or going to some store and buying something or mortgaging my house and working JUST to pay for a bunch of crap that really if you just think a little bit, you don’t even need.



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