Saturday, July 22, 2006


The next president will inherit a military in decline. The best intentions and the highest morale are undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment and rapidly declining readiness.

--George W. Bush, campaign appearance, August 21, 2000

The Army, bearing most of the cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Thursday its money crunch has gotten so bad it is clamping down on spending for travel, civilian hiring and other expenses not essential to the war mission....

Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, said last week that in 2004 it cost $4 billion to repair or replace war equipment, but now it has reached $12 billion to $13 billion. "And in my view, we will continue to see this escalate," he said, adding that the Army is using up equipment at four times the rate for which it was designed.

...The Army chief said there is too little money available to keep up with equipment repairs. He said the Army's five major repair depots are operating at only 50 percent of capacity, resulting in a backlog of 1,000 Humvee utility vehicles awaiting attention at the Red River Army Depot in Texas and 500 tanks at a depot in Alabama....

--AP yesterday


UPDATE: Dick Cheney, campaigning for GOP congressional candidate Gus Bilirakis in Florida:

"Gus is going to remember that the first order of business is to protect the American people and to support the men and women who defend us in time of war."

Well, that would be nice, Dick, because you guys sure don't -- especially that last part.

(Via Athenae.)

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