Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Monday, 03.19.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9
 10  11  12  13  14  15  16
 17  18  19  20  21  22  23
 24  25  26  27  28  29
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Feb 22,2008
Support the troops
by The San Diego Union-Tribune

Supporting the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan ought to be more than a political slogan. It ought to mean something. And that something ought to start first and foremost with the military itself.

Troops at the front, and certainly many of their families, have complained almost since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003 about the shortages and the poor quality of body armor and armor for their vehicles. Soldiers were dying, losing limbs and suffering other major trauma because of it, they pleaded. You may recall the inadequate response of Donald Rumsfeld, then the secretary of defense, to an American soldier who in December 2004 dared ask about the lack of armored Humvees. "You go to war with the army you have," Rumsfeld said, " ... not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

Such arrogance might have been understandable had Iraq not been a war of choice in the first place, and if the Pentagon had not had months or even years to better prepare for a war of insurgency.

Sadly, even when armor-fortified Humvees did start making it to Iraq, they proved not enough to protect troops on the ground from the increasingly powerful roadside bombs planted by the insurgents.

And now we learn from an Associated Press report published by The San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday that, according to an internal military study obtained by the AP, Marine Corps bureaucrats in Washington refused an urgent request from a battlefield commander in 2005 for blast-resistant vehicles known as MRAPs, which are far more effective at protecting troops. As a result, the study concluded, hundreds of Marines have been killed or wounded.

The study was conducted and written by Franz J. Gayl, a civilian Marine Corps official. Because he has previously clashed with Marine brass and last year filed for whistle-blower protection, some will no doubt question his motives and the integrity of his study. But it was based, according to the AP, on Marine Corps documents, e-mails, briefing charts, memos, congressional testimony and news articles.

The study said the Marine Corps was guilty of "gross mismanagement" in delaying deliveries of MRAPs for more than two years. The reason for the delay was insulting - money. The 40-ton vehicles cost up to $1 million each and, the study said, represented a financial threat to other programs attempting to develop lighter vehicles. Never mind, it seems, that American troops were being killed and wounded in the meantime. And never mind that the lighter vehicles were still years from being ready.

To his great credit, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who succeeded Rumsfeld in December 2006, made the MRAP the top acquisition priority for the Pentagon beginning last May, finally shifting the shipment of the vehicles to Iraq into high gear.

It was the common-sense act of a defense secretary who knows that support for the troops must start with him.

Reprinted from The San Diego Union-Tribune. CNS

1062 times read

Related news
Marines seek probe into MRAPs delay by UPI posted on Feb 26,2008

New military vehicles tougher than humvees by UPI posted on May 11,2007

New U.S. armored vehicles performing well by UPI posted on Jan 21,2008

Commander: Marine vehicle saves lives by UPI posted on Apr 19,2007

Rumsfeld captured thoughts in 'snowflakes' by UPI posted on Nov 01,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 25 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?