Bremer in the green zone

Classical Mechanics Level 3

Paul Bremer, former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq is famous for his disastrous reign as de facto political leader of post-invasion Iraq. In place of workable solutions, Bremer often sought more traditional schemes to win allegiance that involved pumping billions and billions of untraceable cash into the country. Of the $20 billion or so that he brought in for "rebuilding", nearly $12 billion disappeared to theft, and corruption and has yet to be accounted for. One of the common ways for cash to make it from Baghdad International Airport to the Green Zone was to load armored Chevy Suburbans with pallets of $100 bills, leaving the front seat clear for the driver and sharpshooter. According to manufacturer's specifications, the cargo hold of a Suburban with the back seats folded down is \(\sim 70\) in. long from the back of the trunk to the back of the front seat, \(\sim 49\) in. wide, and \(\sim 38\) in. tall.

Suppose we packed the cargo hold of the Suburban full with $100 bills, and that for stability's sake, we only pack the bills as high as the start of the windows (i.e. only \(17\) in. high). Approximately how much cash can we fit in each Suburban as it makes its way from the airport to the Green Zone?

Assumptions and Details

  • Use your best estimates for the dimensions of a dollar bill, or look them up.

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