Tuesday, March 29, 2005

58 Bullets for Every Iraqi Adult and Child

"I heard that the US military had purchased 1,500,000,000 bullets for use in the coming year. That is 58 bullets for every Iraqi adult and child." -- Eliot Weinberger, "What I Heard about Iraq," London Review of Books 27.3 (3 Feb. 2005)

Cf. "The Army estimates that it will need 1.5 billion rounds of small ammunition this year for M-16s and other rifles, triple the amount produced in 2001. . . . Alliant [Techsystems Inc., which runs the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, the primary U.S. military supplier] aims to boost production to 1.5 billion rounds a year, but it is not expected to reach that target for another year. In the meantime, the Army has turned to alternate suppliers. In June, it bought about 130 million rounds from Britain's stockpile. In December, it awarded contracts to Israeli Military Industries Ltd., based in Ramat Hasharon, and Winchester Ammunition, a unit of Conn.-based Olin Corp., to produce 70 million rounds each of 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition. . . . The Army estimates that it consumes about 5.5 million rounds of ammunition in Iraq and Afghanistan each month. About 72 million rounds have been used in Iraq. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the military began requiring that soldiers conduct live-fire training twice a year, instead of once, consuming about a 100 million rounds a month. The other services, Navy and Air Force, use about 200 million to 250 million rounds a year" (Renae Merle, "Running Low on Ammo: Military Turns to Overseas Suppliers to Cover Shortages," Washington Post 22 Jul. 2004: E1).

No comments: