As White House Plays Anti-Military Card, Troops Go Without Guns, Supplies, Armor

The Bush administration claims that any congressional resolution opposing escalation would hurt the morale of U.S. troops. “It would be, I think, detrimental from the standpoint of the troops,” Vice President Cheney said last week.

Cheney should spend less time on non-binding resolutions and more on equipping our forces. An audit by the Pentagon’s Inspector General released to Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) shows that U.S. soldiers have had to go without the necessary weapons, armor, vehicles, and equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan:

The Inspector General found that the Pentagon hasn’t been able to properly equip the soldiers it already has. Many have gone without enough guns, ammunition, and other necessary supplies to “effectively complete their missions” and have had to cancel or postpone some assignments while waiting for the proper gear, according to the report from auditors with the Defense Dept. Inspector General’s office. Soldiers have also found themselves short on body armor, armored vehicles, and communications equipment, among other things, auditors found.

“As a result, service members performed missions without the proper equipment, used informal procedures to obtain equipment and sustainment support, and canceled or postponed missions while waiting to receive equipment,” reads the executive summary dated Jan. 25. Service members often borrowed or traded with each other to get the needed supplies, according to the summary.

More bombshells are likely to come soon. Following a letter last year from Slaughter to the Pentagon, the Inspector General’s office reported two ongoing audits into the procurement of armored vehicles and body armor for American soldiers. “The results of those studies will be available in July and October of 2007, respectively,” Slaughter’s office says.

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