Saturday, January 7, 2006

Huge Defense Budget, Lousy Equipment

Mother Jones

The Pentagon spends $1 billion a day. So why do US soldiers have such shoddy combat supplies?

Reports from the Army's Natick Soldier Center and its Tank-automotive and Armaments Command and the Marine's Systems Command Liaison Team in Iraq, all from 2002 and 2003, tell us, for example, troops' "dislikes," including uniforms that rip easily, eyewear that fogs up and fits poorly under helmets, and boots that blister, crack, and burst, and are "poor for movement," or as in one soldier's e-mail are "truly awful and also painful."

Troops buy some equipment with their own money, usually because Government Issue performs poorly. Such items include gloves, socks, flashlights, padding for backpacks, "CamelBak" hydration systems, and weapons cleaning equipment. Banal items? Perhaps to us back home, but certainly not for Soldiers fighting in the winter mountains of Afghanistan and the desert heat of Iraq, doing whatever it takes to keep their bodies and their weapons working.

Yes, but Halliburton is doing quite well, thank you.

Go read. This one'll piss ya off.

No comments: