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Monday, February 23, 2009

Its All About Logistics

This snippet from the "Stratfor" folks tells us a lot about the war we are fighting in Afghanistan.
A train carrying non-lethal supplies for the U.S. military in Afghanistan has left the Latvian port city of Riga Feb. 19, RIA Novosti reported, citing a source in the port administration.  The shipment will cross Russia and likely go through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan before entering Afghanistan.  Russia and NATO signed an agreement on the transit of non-military cargos along the "northern corridor" in April 2008, and a subsequent Russia-U.S. deal was signed in January.
The complete article is here.

We are shipping things like foot and fuel and spare parts destined for Afghanistan.  The materiel travels across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Baltic Sea, by ship, and then by train for a couple of thousand miles, through Russia, into Afghanistan.  That is quite a trek.  That is a lot of supplies.

I saw somewhere recently that it costs $750,000 to station one person in Iraq or Afghanistan.  I discounted the number, but when you consider having to ship things all the way to Afghanistan, overland for a couple of thousand miles, it makes you wonder.  We are spending billions on those two wars.  And, our number of troops "in country" is relatively low, at least compared to other wars we have fought overseas.  But, it is still expensive, at least from a logistics points of view.

Regards  --  Cliff

1 comment:

kad barma said...

I've always enjoyed studying logistics, and noting how frequently the winner of any particular war tends to enjoy a superiority there along with any other advantages more prominently mentioned in the glory books.

My fear is that we remain far too ignorant of the damage these costs are inflicting on our economy, and that we will pour so many resources down everybody else's rat holes that we'll be as destitute from it as the old Soviet economy became while spending to try to keep up with us a few years back.

The other piece of trivia I've found most highly correlated to martial success, (which is also the thing that directly feeds the logistics), is maintaining an ability to pay for ones wars. Grant didn't best Lee for any better reason, and we're crazy to think we can just print scrip (what our money has become) and get away with it.