The cool side of stupid ideas
In the theatre of war things can get very hot, today Baghdad topped out at 51*c and Kabul had a “cool” day for this time of year with just 35*c. For soldiers camped out in tents in the outer lying areas temperatures can be unbearable, add body armour and it becomes dangerous. So the United States defense department contracts out for air-conditioning. And what exactly does it cost to keep American’s cool in Afghanistan and Iraq? Try $20billion… a year!
Part of the reason the expense is so high is private companies are essentially ripping off the Defense department by inflating the cost of delivering the service. But what ever way you put it, $20billion is a heck of a lot of money. To put it into context that is the damage bill for the devastating floods in Queensland, some of Australia’s worst. It is enough money to buy up all the black market arms used in conflicts around the world 4 times over. It’s the entire GDP of Monaco, Iceland and Laos combined. And wait for it, enough money to send every hungry child on earth to school with a full tummy for the next 5 years!
Think about that again, the 66million children who wake up with nothing to eat could be fed for the next 5 years if we simply turned off the air con for the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. The World Food Programme have made the figures to feed the starving available for many years. But they have yet to experience a financial year where governments have met the required targets. It is politically more palatable to spend money on war than it is to feed to the world’s children.
It’s hard to keep cool when you hear about that kind of stupidity!
*US Defense spending figures confirmed by Brigadier General Steven Anderson of the United States Army*