Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Frag Kits, War Taxes, and EFPs

Christian Lowe digs up of a couple of pieces on the current MRAP appropriations bonanza, noting that the mine resistant ambush protected vehicles arriving in Iraq may already be outdated and will require a frag kit to withstand EFPs:

As I predicted, it looks like frantic MRAP procurement is squeezing out the Humvee replacement the services really need. Iraq involvement will wane, MRAPs will be sitting unused in motor pools and the troops will be riding around in 1980s-era Humvees for another decade at least.

OK, OK, I know I’m going to get several mortar barrages about how heartless I am. But let’s look at the numbers. Only 400 of the 1,500 MRAPs that are supposed to be shipped to Iraq this year have arrived. Other than Marines who’d already had some in-theater, I have yet to hear of a commander that has the number he’d requested. So, how is it that IED attacks are way down and that U.S. casualties have dropped like a rock over the last month.

Travis Sharp points out the highlights in the Senate's FY08 Pentagon budget allocations bill ...

And Wisconsin's Rep. Obey proposes what is sure to be a controversial "war tax":

The plan unveiled today by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John P. "Jack" Murtha and Rep. Jim McGovern would spread the sacrifice among all taxpayers by tacking a "war surcharge" on top of the federal income tax. Americans would pay up to 15 percent more on their taxes in order to raise the $150 billion needed annually to keep the war going.


Obey said his committee would not consider President Bush’s $190 billion request for the war until the new year – and signaled that he was now willing to condition future war funding on plans for a U.S. withdrawal. That would be a change for Democrats, who have tried to attach strings to war spending, but have said that they would not try to end the war by cutting off funding for the troops.

Defend America has a short piece on MRAP mechanics ...

As far as getting the trucks to the theater is concerned, the process appears to be moving slowly, at least in Anbar province ...

Part III of the Washington Post's series on IEDs discusses the impact of EFPs in the war.

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