COOL TECH THIS WEEK: Armor Shortchange

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COOL TECH THIS WEEK: Armor Shortchange
« em: Novembro 06, 2004, 08:59:06 pm »
COOL TECH THIS WEEK: Armor Shortchange

By Noah Shachtman

Guard's Armor Still Shortchanged

It's been nearly two years since the build-up to the Iraq war began. And still, the U.S. national guardsmen and reservists serving in Iraq don't have the armor they need to protect their trucks, the New York Times reports.

When the 1544th Transportation Company of the Illinois National Guard was preparing to leave for Iraq in February, relatives of the soldiers offered to pay to weld steel plates on the unit's trucks to protect against roadside bombs. The Army told them not to, because it would provide better protection in Iraq, relatives said.
Seven months later, many of the company's trucks still have no armor, soldiers and relatives said, despite running some of the most dangerous missions in Iraq...

There are plans to produce armor kits for at least 2,806 medium-weight trucks, but as of Sept. 17, only 385 of the kits had been produced and sent to Iraq. Armor kits were also planned for at least 1,600 heavyweight trucks, but as of mid-September just 446 of these kits were in Iraq. The Army is also looking into developing ways to armor truck cabs quickly, and has ordered 700 armored Humvees with special weapons platforms to protect convoys.

Right here, these are the costs of Don Rumsfeld's shenanigans with the defense budget. By putting off funding for the basics our soldiers need to stay alive into a "supplemental" budget request, Rumsfeld is indirectly contributing to the deaths of American troops. It's wrong. And, what's more, it's the type of fiscal sleight-of-hand that Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, promised Congress wouldn't be done.

“This year’s budget seeks to apply the principle of honest assessments of what it will take to do the job, or what we call realistic costing. One of the unfortunate consequences of asking the military to do more than they really have the funds for is not only things like deferring real property maintenance, but underestimating the cost of flying hours in the hope that you will get a supplemental”
“We have tried in this budget, though, to get honest estimates of costs, and a significant part of that $18 billion increase is simply to get us to honest budgeting and a budget that does not require a supplemental in the year 2002. Indeed, we hope with this 2001 supplemental, which I hope is on the verge of being passed, that we will put behind us the kind of supplemental budgeting that became a process that was not based on true anticipated needs.”


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