I saw that Modern Marvels show a while back... it caught my attention. I did a little googling, and realized the reason fuel is SOOO expensive in Afgan:
One, it is difficult to get there... and
Two, a lot of fuel is either stolen, bartered, or blown up. I read barter with local tribal leaders (picture sitting down with the chief in an old Western movie), barter goods for information about the enemy. US 'scout' types pass out stacks of US$100 bills for intel all the time.
I saw a news picture of a line of tanker trucks on a road, probably 20 or 30, ALL on fire. The black cloud was the worst I have seen since Saddaam blew up Kuwait oil production in 1990. Seems to me if one factors in loosing all that fuel AND the trucks... yeah, $400/gal is not that high.
We need to either fight to win, or get out of these silly brush conflicts. Problem is... if we escalated a war... someone would take the other side... then someone would get on our side, then another on their side... Soon we would be in WW3... and some idiot would send a NUKE missile somewhere... before the dust settled... well... we have all read novels about this.
Better IMO to have brush wars, and have them on SOMEONE ELSE's shores and soil.
Good time to bring this up, sure you guys will like it.
Couple of things the news media does not talk about...
One: The largest deposit of copper in the world is in central Afgan... for some reason the Chinese are developing the mine... and we are more or less providing security... not sure what is in this for us?
Two: There are lots of oil reserves in the countries around Afgan... yet no way to get the oil to the ocean. The Soviet/Afgan war was for the same reason as the US/Afgan war... to figure out a way to get all that oil to the ocean... to sell it.
Countries use their military forces, under false pretenses (like freedom, democracy, fighting terrorists, etc), to help BIG business develop things (resources, manufacturing, markets, etc). When we learn to not trust govts (especially our own, as well as all others), we will be a long way towards getting control of our country back. Now I am not saying to loose our nationalistic view of America... just do not blindly trust whatever BS comes from the govt... rather make them accountable. When (not if) we end up in conflict with other countries... we need to stand as one nation totally on the same side... sends a message to the world... Speaking of messages...
As long as the rest of the world stays away from the USA... I am fine with pulling back the military for a while... OTOH: Next time someone blows up an embassy or kills a foreign ambassador... we need to swoop down like all h*ll broke loose. The world needs to see the US military unleashed in all its POWERFUL glory once every couple of years... reminds them what they will be up against if they screw with us.