By some estimates, about half of the U.S. military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are related to attacks with improvised explosive devices on convoys, many of which are carrying fuel. As of March 20, 3,426 service members had been killed by hostile fire in Iraq, 1,823 of them victims of IEDs. "Every time you bring a gallon of fuel forward, you have to send a convoy," said Alan R. Shaffer, director of defense research and engineering at the Pentagon. "That puts people's lives at risk." "The honest-to-God truth, the most compelling reason to do it is it saves lives," said Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, director of operations and logistics for the Army. "It takes drivers off the road."
Perhaps the protection of troops will succeed in altering DOD behavior where money savings and mission assurance has not.