João Castro Silva

How Much does a Bullet Cost? It takes 250,000 bullets to kill an insurgent, 2017.Madeiras várias, 72 x 44 x 36 cm.

How Much does a Bullet Cost ?
It takes 250,000 bullets to kill an insurgent

Rounds used by British troops in Afghanistan from Aug 2006 to Sept 2007: SA80 (5.56mm) - 2,020,000; General Purpose Machine Gun (7.62mm) - 1,830,000; Artillery (105mm) - 25,000.”[1]

“British forces in Afghanistan have fired more than 12 million bullets in less than three years, (...). // Ammunition is being discharged at a rate of more than 12,000 rounds every day. // (...) in August 2006, British service personnel in Afghanistan have fired a total of 12,282,300 shots. // Some 5.8 million of the rounds were 5.56 mm bullets fired from SA80 rifles. There were also 5 million general purpose machine gun 7.62 mm rounds. // More than 311,000 9 mm rounds were fired from pistols, typically issued to officers. There were also more than 150,000 rounds fired by attack helicopters. More than 16,000 shotgun rounds were discharged, most of them by the Parachute Regiment. The ammunition figures cover six operational tours by British forces, starting in August 2006 and ending in April this year.” [2]

“British Army fired 46 million rounds at Taliban costing taxpayer £ 200 million. // Within months our troops were firing around 10,000 bullets on a daily basis from their SA-80 assault rifles. At 50 pence per round that means they fired at least £ 5,000 per day. // At least 80,000 105 mm shells costing £ 100 million were fired from the British Army’s “Dragon” light artillery gun. // Flown by Prince Harry during the conflict and armed with 30mm cannon, during a typical six-month tour of Helmand 55,000 of these bullets were fired by Apache helicopters at the Taliban. // At a cost of £65 each this placed the bill at £3,575,000 for just one deployment.”[3]

A government report says that US forces are now using 1.8 billion rounds of small-arms ammunition a year. // (...) using these figures it works out at around 300,000 bullets per insurgent. Let's round that down to 250,000 so that we are underestimating. // It takes 250,000 bullets to kill one enemy combatant. // I remember in Vietnam, each dead enemy soldier cost us about $ 40,000. We're spending about $ 3.000 per second in our wars; I’m sure that adds up to over a million $ per dead insurgent.”[4]

If there were a database that recorded how many bullets had been distributed to U.S. troops and what they cost, and how many were actually fired in battle, and how many of those actually struck a Talib fighter, one could come to an average cost of what it takes to “deliver” one single bullet to the Taliban. // One needs to keep in mind that the purchase price itself is only part of the total cost of the bullet that penetrates the flesh of a Talib warrior. There is the price of the bullet, plus the price of transportation, plus the price of making the U.S. soldier that fires the bullet (training, feeding, clothing, arming, transporting, paying), plus the price of building a base to house that soldier, plus the price of general administration that governs soldiers, plus any other less obvious prices. // If the estimate of 250,000 rounds fired per Talib killed is correct, (...). // (...) if we take the lowest available figure of 33 cents per bullet, that means it costs $82,500 to kill one Talib fighter. // (...) if we estimate (because there are few reliable counts, and the U.S. refuses to count further) that 2,000 Taliban are killed by the U.S. alone in one year (a high count), then that would mean $35,000,000 spent on killing one Talib. // Given these estimates, the cost of killing one Talib may be as “little” as $82,500 to something above $35 million (based on the paucity of information available, and based on how one wants to calculate the costs of killing). // In terms of U.S. per capita income of $47,000 (source), then it would take the entire income of almost two persons in the U.S. to pay for the killing of one Talib per year. That is just for the bullets fired — we did not factor in bombs, missiles, artillery shells, and so forth.[5]

How Much does a Bullet Cost ?2016
Madeiras, tinta e pó de grafite

Escala aprox. 1/1

[1] The telegraph, 12:01 12 Jan 2008 By Thomas Harding, Defense Correspondent,
[2] The Telegraph, 7:00 AM BST 10 Aug 2009 By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent,
[4] The Independent, By Andrew Buncombe in Washington Saturday 24 September 2005 23:00 BST,

João Castro Silva, 01/1966
1992 Licenciatura em Escultura FBAUL 1994 Frequência do Curso "Bronze Casting" Royal College of Art - Londres 2001 Mestre em História da Arte ULL 2010 Doutor em Escultura da FBAUL. É, desde 1995, docente do curso de Escultura na FBAUL. Expõe desde 1992. Prémios (selecção) 1998 2º Prémio do “ll Simpósio Internacional de Escultura em Ferro de Abrantes”. 1999 Menção Honrosa -Prémio Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian- no "lll Concurso de Jovens nas Artes - Francisco Wandscheider" Culturgest, Lisboa. 2005 Prémio Doutor Gustavo Cordeiro Ramos. Academia Nacional de Belas Artes. Escultura pública (selecção) Rotunda da Areia - Quinta da Marinha, Cascais. Área de Serviço Repsol - Auto-Estrada do Oeste. B.Braun Medical LDA, Queluz de Baixo. Parque do Alto de Sto. António, Abrantes. Heidrick & Struggles, Lisboa. Montauban, França. Novimed, Lisboa. Montjean-sur-Loire, França. Saraiva e Associados, Arquitectura e Urbanismo, Lisboa. Igreja de S. José Carpinteiro, Catujal, Loures. Centro Cultural Eng. Adolfo Roque, Barro, Águeda. Prime Yield, Lisboa. Dr. Horácio Louro, Costa da Caparica. Kolosso, Torres Vedras. S. Pedro, Torres Vedras.