Simple Truths- Peacetime v. Wartime Militaries
OPERATION FRESH AIR - JUNE 2nd - Walter REed and Bethesda

Dem funding delays killing troops?

Mrap The Democrats have disgraced themselvs by turning the funding for our ongoing war into a game of political point-making. I hope they suffer for that come next election, but what about the effects this is having on our operations right now. I mean they wouldn't be doing it if it was actively harming the troops right now would they? I was reading Lorie Byrd's blog at Town Hall and she had a picture of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle that absolutely saves lives. This reminded me that I got an email from a reader Karl about how the funding debacle is slowing the fielding of this very system.

It would be nice if we started calling these democrats out on the war spending bill and how it's going to be affecting life saving equipment. I am a machinist and am working on parts for the RG33's (I work for a subcontractor of a subcontractor here in central PA). We've been busting our butts to get these parts done on time, 12-15 hour days. I keep stressing to my co-workers how important it is to get these done - I'd hate to be one day late, having these trucks arrive a day late to the field because we were late with our parts and making a Soldier ride another day in something less protective instead of something that could have saved their lives. In that same line of thinking - how can these Democrats live with that thought? Below I've put together some current facts on that scenario...

Karl B

The info about the MRAP is after the jump, and Karl's point is perfectly apt. The military is not able to turn on a dime at the whims of our elected paymasters. It is a gargantuan enterprise that requires lead times and planning to make things happen. The current situation is affecting the ability of the folks who have to orchestrate this to make these vital and life-saving things happen. The Dems just passed a pathetic two- month appropriation after which the military must come and dance again while Congress cranks the organ. Just about daily the Dems manage to find a way to act more shamefully regarding the war. It's really starting to piss me off.

Life saving MRAP’s may be delayed by Democrats and the war spending bill.

New Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles have been struck over 2000 times (Source: May 4, 2007) without a single fatality. (Source: Army Times April 24, 2007)

   “Homemade bombs accounted for 57 percent of 2,698 U.S. combat deaths through April 21, according to the Defense Department. The attacks also led to 59 percent of the 24,912 combat injuries.(Source: May 4, 2007)

   ``I'm encouraged to hear that the Marines will be ordering better-protected vehicles, but I continue to be outraged that the Pentagon has been so slow to respond to this obvious urgent need,'' Senator Edward Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, said in an e-mail. (Source: May 4, 2007)

   “We’re buying far too few of them,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. “If we have that capability, why would we not do everything to mobilize, to move as many of them into the field as is possible? (Source: Army Times April 24, 2007)

 Delayed Funding Bill 

 The first round of purchases will come from about $800 million in already appropriated funds, says Johnson-Miles. Another $3 billion for the next round is contained in a war supplemental funding bill before Congress, he says.

 ``We cannot place orders without having funds on hand,'' Johnson-Miles says. ``There is still time to get funding before we are ready to place some more orders. It's not holding us up yet.'' (Source: May 4, 2007)

   The Army wants 2,500, at a cost of about $2.7 billion. The Marines are planning to buy 3,700 and would send about 3,000 to Iraq . There will be 525 in the country by the end of the year, said Brig. Gen. Mark Gurganus, ground combat commander for U.S. forces in western Iraq .

As the Pentagon scrapes to find the money to run the war in the midst of the budget impasse, the Pentagon says there is not enough cash to buy as many as commanders say they need.

“We can build what we can get the funds to build. It’s strictly an issue of money,” Gen. Peter Schoomaker, former Army chief of staff, told a Senate committee last month.

At the time, he said the Army had an unfunded requirement of about $2 billion. Lawmakers added some additional money to the bill, so that number would now be about $1.5 billion.

Additional orders cannot be placed until the disagreement over the war spending legislation is settled. That bill would give the Army ($1.2 billion), the Marines ($1.25 billion), the Navy ($154 million), the Air Force ($139 million) and special operations forces ($259 million) money to buy their own versions of the carriers, according to Bill Johnson-Miles, spokesman for the Marine Corps Systems Command. (Source: Army Times April 24, 2007)