Brigadier General Steve Anderson, who served as chief logistician to General David Petraeus in Iraq, said that the American Department of Defense (DOD) was shockingly inefficient in its energy use.
“In essence what we're doing is we're air conditioning the desert over there in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places,” the Telegraph quoted Anderson, as saying.
Taking into account raw fuel, transport and security, “DOD will spend about 20 billion dollars annually to air-condition tents and temporary structures,” he added.
Anderson said that the fuel used to power air conditioners in Afghanistan’s remote bases is shipped into Pakistan, before being transported by land for more than two weeks.
It must cross 800 miles of roads, many little more than "improved goat trails", and areas where insurgents will use roadside bombs to target troops serving the US war effort, he said.
According to official government figures, the US has spent about 1.2 trillion dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though the true cost is likely to be much greater, the paper said.
As Barack Obama announced last week that 33,000 US troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of next summer, opponents pointed out that the war was still costing ten billion dollars a month.