The United States spends $20.2 billion annually on air conditioning for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan — more than NASA's entire budget, NPR reported.
In fact, the same amount of money that keeps soldiers cool is the amount the G-8 has committed to helping the fledgling democracies in Tunisia and Egypt.
The necessary cooling costs so much because of the remote locations and danger involved in delivery equipment and fuel, Steven Anderson, a retired logistician who served under Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq.
"When you consider the cost to deliver the fuel to some of the most isolated places in the world — escorting, command and control, medevac support — when you throw all that infrastructure in, we're talking over $20 billion," Anderson told NPR. "You've got risks that are associated with moving the fuel almost every mile of the way."
And it's a long way to move the fuel: 800 miles of "improved goat trails" separate Karachi, where the fuel is shipped in, to Afghanistan. The transport takes 18 days.