War on the Cheap

One of the criticisms levied by Democratic politicians of this God awful Iraq War is that the Bush Administration shortchanged our troops in terms of numbers and equipment. If this war was nothing more than a political stunt designed to win the 2002 and 2004 elections, the charge of war on the cheap might also make sense as the GOP doesn’t want to go to Mr. and Mrs. America asking them to sacrifice in terms of having pay more taxes.

I have shied away from making this charge, but this AP story appears to give tangible evidence for this allegation:

Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study concludes. he study was written by a civilian Marine Corps official and obtained by The Associated Press. It accuses the service of “gross mismanagement” that delayed deliveries of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected trucks for more than two years. Cost was a driving factor in the decision to turn down the request for the MRAPs, according to the study. Stateside authorities saw the hulking vehicles, which can cost as much as a $1 million each, as a financial threat to programs aimed at developing lighter vehicles that were years from being fielded.

The best way to avoid troop causalities would have never started this costly war. Yes, Saddam Hussein might still be around but our real enemies – Al Qaeda and Iran – have flourished as a result of the stupid decision to invade Iraq. We are therefore less safe not more safe. But even if you are one of those who mistakenly believe that we needed to invade – how the hell does one defend this war on the cheap approach?