Into the ether goes a post centered around this New York Times story:
The Army You Have, Not the One You Want (my title)
The short version is--orders went out to NOT procure body armor, then orders went out TO procure it, causing delays measured by months.
Companies were contracted to manufacture body armor, then the contracts were cancelled. Other companies were contracted, but weren't up to the task (although they had great connections). Humvees were up-armored at a pace that you'd have to be generous to describe as a crawl (though things are getting SLIGHTLY better).
Once the morons in charge of Operation Go Cheney Ourselves realized that flowers and kisses were right out, while I.E.D.'s R.P.G.'s, and plain old bullets were all on the menu, everything shipped priority--which, as the article points out, meant that NOTHING actually WAS prioritized...in other words, the body armor wasn't arriving via rush delivery--but things like socks were.
Devices that could potentially stop I.E.D.s via electronic jamming AREN'T being provided to the troops because they're still being tested--although they seem to work plenty good enough to be used for protecting the oil fields.
While this was happening, Coalition of the
Hillbilly armor, i.e., sandbags, are STILL in use on some vehicles, causing problems that at least in one case resulted in a collision. The soldier responsible complained about the lack of real protection, and was presented with a bill for almost $1,000 dollars for damages--fortunately, he won his appeal, but had to demonstrate how the sandbags leaked, causing the accelerator to jam.
You know, with anywhere from $300 to $400 BILLION dollars to play around with every year, you'd think Pentagon planners could, I don't know, USE some of that money for BASIC EQUIPMENT for chrissakes? It's absolutely unfuckingbelievable--and in my mind, criminal--that you could have a military budget that large and somehow NOT manage to provide the basics.
The Democrats should raise this issue and give it the attention it deserves. And heads should roll.
Now here's hoping that Blogger actually posts this rant.