The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Saturday, March 6

protecting the troops

This contract award was just announced on March 2--almost a year after the war began. Interesting timing.
Radian Inc. (Radian), a subsidiary of Engineered Support Systems, Inc., has been awarded a $16.3 million, firm-fixed-price redetermination contract to provide 272 armor protection kits for the U.S. Army's Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV). The U.S. Army Program Executive Office, Combat Support and Combat Services Support (PEO, CS&CSS) awarded the contract through the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) in Warren, Michigan, for Operational Unit Force Protection.

These armor kits will immediately be transferred to Army units operating in Iraq.
We posted a comment tonight in regards to John Kerry's speech dealing with protective equipment for troops at Atrios that we're re-posting here. Too often people look at the $87 billion dollar supplemental and forget there was an earlier supplemental awarded in April. Together, the two supplementals provide roughly an additional $150 billion in military spending. There is just no excuse for troops in Iraq not having the protective equipment they need. Period.
Everyone keeps mentioning the $87 billion supplemental ($9 billion of which is discretionary). You all are forgetting the April supplemental of another $74.7 billion ($62.6 billion for military spending). These are sums above and beyond the Defense appropriations bill.

Plus, the US seized and transferred an additional $2.43 billion in Iraqi assets to the NY Federal Reserve bank. Funds found within Iraq ($600 million at least) have also been used for funding local reconstruction projects. Additional revenue is also flowing into Iraq from oil sales (or not according to one aid group who said $4-5 billion may have been missing) Plus another $13-40 billion in aid/loans/goods from the donor nations for reconstruction.

There's no excuse for not having provided troops with adequate protection. This war was being planned at least two years in advance.

An intelligent administration and Defense Dept would have at the very least been well stocked and supplied even if the war never moved beyond paper. That they chose not to equip troops shows how little they cared about manpower and really only cared about firepower--which is useless without troops.
Reconstruction costs simply can not be used as an excuse for delays on delivery of equipment to troops.

It's pretty obvious where the White House's priorities have been and it isn't the troops, turkey or no plastic turkey.


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