Give Us Back Our Bullets


Presented without comment from the UK Independent, except, uh, dammit, war is hell–hella expensive and wasteful, that is. But at least our men are being well trained:

US forces have fired so many bullets in Iraq and Afghanistan—an estimated 250,000 for every insurgent killed—that American ammunition-makers cannot keep up with demand. As a result the US is having to import supplies from Israel.


"The Department of Defense's increased requirements for small- and medium-calibre ammunitions have largely been driven by increased weapons training requirements, dictated by the army's transformation to a more self-sustaining and lethal force—which was accelerated after the attacks of 11 September, 2001—and by the deployment of forces to conduct recent US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq," said [a new] report by the General Accounting Office (GAO).

……estimates from military officials suggest that at least 20,000 insurgents have been killed in President George Bush's "war on terror".
John Pike, director of the Washington military research group GlobalSecurity.org, said that, based on the GAO's figures, US forces had expended around six billion bullets between 2002 and 2005. "How many evil-doers have we sent to their maker using bullets rather than bombs? I don't know," he said.

"If they don't do body counts, how can I? But using these figures it works out at around 300,000 bullets per insurgent. Let's round that down to 250,000 so that we are underestimating."

[UPDATE: I didn't notice this when first posting–the article was only brought to my attention yesterday–but this is a nearly two year old story. So, I imagine the bullet to insurgent ratio has gotten even larger. Here's the 2005 GAO study it references.]