Saturday, December 11, 2004

Army To Get More Armor 

NOW the Army has begun inquiring into the possibility of accellerating production of armored vehicles and other needed protection. Apparently until one of the production companies came forward to say they could increase production, DOD officials "thought" that production levels were already topped out.


Okay, walk with me through some analysis of this, which I admit will include some assumptions:

Defense contractors like to make money.
Defense contractors make money by selling product to DOD.
DOD needs more product.
DOD requesting more product means defense contractors make more money.
Defense contractors will find a way to make more product.

My conclusion: DOD never once inquired, or at least never followed up on, the possibility of acquiring more and better armored products. In the 21 months of the war, during much of which America was abuzz with tales of not enough armor. Through the entire presidential campaign, in which the accusations of inadequate protective equipment were tossed about at length. Through the refusal of supply units to drive their routes because of inadequate protection and improperly maintained vehicles. Through the processing of the bodies and effects of every soldier whose death might have been prevented.

Any questioning of the planning or implementation of the war was met with denial and accusations of lack of patriotism and of undermining the morale of the troops. Not until some of those troops, ON CAMERA, question the Secretary of Defense himself, does anything happen.

What's the lesson here? I don't know. That as Americans it's our duty to question the decisions and actions of our elected officials and their appointed advisors? That asking questions is the most patriotic thing you can do? That the current administration will do whatever it takes to push their own agenda, regardless of the truth or consequences? That there are some incredibly talented strategists working behind the scenes to keep this administration's agenda on track and accepted? That those strategists' talents might be better used in trying to effect real improvement in the world?

Does it count as a lesson if we already knew it?

Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:55 AM