Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Goodbye to MRAPs?

There seems to be a major slowdown coming in the purchase of Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected vehicles for the warzones, according to the Weekly Standard:

IT WAS THE CAUSE du jour for the 110th Congress; a silver bullet that would save lives in an increasingly unpopular war, make even the most superfluous lawmaker look like they were on top of defense issues, and bolster the military credentials of any Pentagon-hostile Capitol Hill denizen...But now the game has changed. Finally sober minds are beginning to prevail and the services are finding the courage to push back. Let's say the surge gave them the "breathing room" to take a moment to really examine whether these vehicles fit their battle plans or were, as one defense researcher termed them, just a "million dollar Kleenex."

...And now, apparently, Army Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the number two commander in Iraq, is questioning whether his service needs its 10,000 MRAP order (down from 17,000 earlier this year). He told USA Today this week that with the success of the surge and the increase in tips and other intel on IEDs, the need for MRAPs has waned.

I too was an avid proponent of the new vehicles, more as a less costly tank replacement than for any political reasons. Yet, I bow to the wisdom of the seasoned combat commanders on the frontlines.