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The DHS Ammo Purchases

Posted By Grim • [February 08, 2013]

There are a couple of interesting questions about the Federal government's robust purchase of ammunition at a time when "a decade of war is ending."  Here are two from Investors Business Daily:

1)  Other Federal agencies have offered some sort of explanation about their purchases, but DHS has bought 1.6 billion rounds without explaining why it needs that kind of stock.  That's enough ammunition to cover the Iraq War outlays for 25 years (although not the right types:  these are mostly handgun cartridges, and presumably not FMJ as there is no Geneva Conventions protecting civilians from expanding bullets).

2)  Why did DHS illegally redact information from its purchasing orders of ammunition?

Here's one more question, from me:  Currently the US Navy is slashing ship maintenance, and delaying the departure of the carrier group scheduled to support operations in Afghanistan.  The US Army says that 78% of its brigades will be unsat for combat due to anticipated training cutbacks.  Both services are engaged in fighting an actual war.

Is it too much to ask that we prioritize Naval ship maintenance and the training of Brigade Combat Teams over these ammunition purchases?  We're actually going to use the brigades and the ships.  Rarely does the TSA find itself called to shoot anyone, and the Border Patrol gets in trouble every time it discharges a weapon.  Presumably most of these rounds are to be used, then, in training of law enforcement rather than for actual combat.  If anyone needs to cut back on training dollars right now, why not let the BCTs train and have Homelands Security stand down?

I know the answer to this question, of course.  It's because Congress is incompetent to pass a budget and has been for years, while the President is so far out to sea that his last budget didn't get even a single vote in the House.  

No leadership.


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