Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Apparently CNN got it right

I can admit when I'm wrong.

The Department of Defense today said the commanders in Afghanistan have asked for more mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles the military calls “MRAPs.”

CNN reported that commanders in Afghanistan requested the MARPs after
nine NATO International Security Assistance Force soldiers died in an attack on a base in Afghanistan’s Kunar province on July 14.

The Defense Department initially denied the report and I took CNN to task on this blog.

Apparently CNN was at least partially correct, although their initial report said commanders had asked for 1,000 additional MRAPs. They actually requested about 200 more.

There are roughly 800 MRAPs in Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department.

"It’s safe to say that commanders are interested in more of the vehicles", Geoff Morrel, the Pentagon press secretary told reporters.

Commanders in Afghanistan want the RG-31 version because its size makes it more appropriate for the countries mountainous terrain.

Morrel said the Pentagon encourages commanders in the field to ask for what they need.

“The chairman has made it very clear that commanders should not be bashful about speaking up if they need more forces than they currently have,” he said. “ Commanders should not worry about the overall stress on the force and be mindful of what their needs are in their areas of responsiblity. DoD leaders will determine if it is possible to meet their needs.

“‘Speak up if you need them, and we’ll see what we can do’ is the way it works,” Morrell said.

Congress should take not an ensure the military receives the funding necessary to properly equip our troops for their mission. Democrats have attempted to use was funding as a political tool. While we should always encourage political debate, using the military as a political pawn during a time of war is totally inappropriate.

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