Sunday, April 15, 2007

The US's High Cost Of Killing (Iraqi Fighters)

I saw this headline: "US Forced to Import Bullets from Israel as Troops Use 250,000 for Every Rebel Killed" and I was trying to have some understanding of the magnitude of this stupendous number.

From the news, between 2002 and 2005, the US used 6,000,000,000 bullets in Iraq. This is almost one bullet per each person on earth, since there are about 6,500,000,000 people on Earth.

Assuming the weight of the bullet is 4 grams*, the total weight of bullets is 4 grams per bullet x 6 billion bullets = 24 billion grams, or 24 million kilograms, or 24,000 tons! or 20,000 Toyota Yaris!**

Assuming the bullet is very cheap at 10 cent each, it takes $25,000 or about one million baht to kill one Iraqi fighter. The actual cost is probably at least 2-3 times my estimate.

Now, of course, that was just the cost of bullets. There are other costs such as bombs, planes, tanks, fuels, personnel, food, etc. There is an estimate of the total cost of Iraq Invasion at the National Priorities Project ($400 billions+, or more than 14 million million baht.) Of course, there are various estimates as described here***, but the cost is at least in hundreds of billions of dollars or trillions of dollars.

If it costs this much to invade Iraq to control their oil, wouldn't it be cheaper just to bribe everyone (26 million) in Iraq and buy oil at a fair price? For each $100 billion, each Iraqi will receive approximately $4,000 which is about the per capital GDP ($3,600 in 2005.)

I told you, stupid & evil leaders are very harmful to the world. Lee Iacocca does not think there are any US leaders left in the White House though.

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*Using the data from,, and, to calculate the weight (and look up the performance) of each bullet.

**For comparisons, a small car like Toyota Yaris is about one ton each. A bigger car like Mercedes Benz E weighs about two tons.

***Just search Google for "cost of iraqi war" to see the various estimates.

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