Friday, January 06, 2006

Not the army you want

From the New York Times:

A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials. ...

Military officials and contractors said the Pentagon's procurement troubles had stemmed in part from miscalculations that underestimated the strength of the insurgency, and from years* of cost-cutting that left some armoring companies on the brink of collapse as they waited for new orders.

Who is responsible? And will they be made to answer?

*I'd like to know just how many years we are talking about here. Does this go back to the Clinton administration?


Blogger fester said...

Working from memory here, so take it for what it is worth --- the Interceptor body armor system was first approved for purchase in 1998 or 1999 and to save money the purchase was for a multi-year procurement with the plan that the light infantry units to get the first sets and then distribute down the risk tree from there. I am very sure that the production lines for body armor were open and producing on 9/11, but I do not know which companies were getting the orders at that time. IIRC there was a surge order sometime in the late summer/early fall of 2002 for a little more body armor, but that in the summer of 2003 there was a recognition that there was nowhere near enough body armor in theatre, due to the fact that Bremer et al were not counting on an insurgency forming up. There was enough armor for the invasion force, but not for the follow-on forces as well as the CSS units that typically were significantly behind the battle line according to US doctrine.

This is my memory working, so take it for what you will.

10:47 AM


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