The Pentagon needs two things to survive: war and oil. And it can't make the first if it doesn't have the second. In fact, the Pentagon's methods of mass destruction -- fighters, bombers, tanks, Humvees, and other vehicles -- burn 75 percent of the fuel used by the DoD. While the Pentagon reportedly burns through an astounding 365,000 barrels of oil every day (the equivalent of the entire nation of Sweden's daily consumption), Sohbet Karbuz, an expert on global oil markets, estimates that the number is really closer to 500,000 barrels.
With such unconstrained consumption, recent U.S. wars have been a boon for big oil and have seen the Pentagon rise from the rank of hopeless addict to superjunkie.
As a result, the DoD had some of the planet's biggest petroleum dealers, and masters of the corporate universe, on its payroll. In March 2007, the Pentagon went on a two-day bender of epic proportions. On March 22 and 23, the DoD announced that it had struck "fixed price with economic price adjustment" deals, to be fulfilled by April 30, 2008, with ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Valero, Refinery Associates of Texas, and ten other petrogiants to the tune of $4 billion. Another petro-binge occurred around the 2007 Labor Day holiday. Over the course of three days, the DoD acknowledged fuel contracts with BP, Chevron, Tesoro, and four others worth more than $1.4 billion.
Couple this with the fact that, on Rumsfeld's watch, the Environmental Protection Agency granted the DoD a "national security exemption" on trucks that failed to meet current emissions standards; that the army canceled plans to introduce "hybrid-diesel humvees" (the current military model gets just four miles per gallon in city driving and an equally dismal eight miles per gallon on the highway); and that it similarly dropped plans to retrofit the fuel-guzzling Abrams tank with a more efficient diesel engine (the current model, in service in Iraq, gets less than a mile per gallon), while the air force deep-sixed plans for the possible replacement of aging "surveillance, cargo and tanker aircraft engines" -- and you're looking at a Pentagon patently incapable of altering its addiction-addled ways in any near future