Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, October 15, 2004

US Army equipment: They're running out of parts

And that's not all. Ref The troops also don't have the right fuel, inadequate support vehicles, and troops are behing deployed without adequate equipment. [Other equipment-related: weaponless, , GAO, Home requests]

Why, despite the grand glorious build-up for war, are they having problems ... still?

Big George said, "We won" and "Mission Accomplished."

One would think that has something to do with "span of control" and "able to conduct combat operations at our will."

In fact, things were going so well, Halliburton was being paid money to drive around in empty trucks, and then re-imbursed for the full cost of abandoned vehicles.

Yet, now we find out that units are being deployed with in adequate equipment.

Then we find out they're actually going on missions without adequate spare parts.

So, what's up?

Why are combat troops being deployed without adequate combat equipment?

How can we say "things are going well" when combat-war-related priorities [you know, that number one priority in DoD: War] can't get fulfilled?

What else isn't getting done?

If the most important thing like "war" can't get the necessary equipment despite authorizing [obviously not spending] $1B/week in Iraq, what is to be said with lower priorities like: Training, safety, mission readiness, acquisition, backbriefs, intelligence, funding for legal complaince with the Geneva Conventions?

Let us not shiver at such questions. For Congress, under the Constitution, has the role to ensure the troops are adequately trained and equipped. The responsibilty for carrying out those Congressional declarations of war fall to the President as commander in Chief, but the primary rule-making role falls on the back of Congress to ensure: The standards are met, the troops have the requisite funding to meet that objective.

So what's going on? Has Congress only given authorization, but has not actually funded those reuqirements; or is the money simply sitting there in the Columbus DFAS account, waiting to be expened?

Surely, someone is not sitting there back in the acquisition-arena with their lovely expenditure-graphs saying, "How can we tweak this?"

Here's a hint: You have expenditure lines, you have appropriations lines. The two are not matching. Yet, no matter how much you fiddle with the lines, you can't make spare parts faster than it takes: Babies cannot be made in 4 months.

Regardless the non-sense DoD flashes before the easily confused Amred Services Committes, bottom line: Troops in combat do not have the equipment they need to do their job, despite public attention, despite "special emphasis by Generals flying back to the states to make sure the Humvees have the necessary armor."


What could possibly be getting in the way?

How could combat-related material be in such short supply that the very troops we have called up to do this mission are not getting the necessary resources?

Gosh, you don't think it has something to do with: Leadership. White House is the one that certified this mess, said "we've done our job, mission complete." But where's the result, where's the plan, where's the end-conclusion?

The answer is: There isn't one. The only one who "ended the war" was everyone but the enemy.

Hello: Why is the logistics line not getting the equipment, how many other contractors have not been "kept warm" despite the drawdown, how many other pieces of equipment that troops rely on for combat are not getting the necesary spare-parts orders, and why has so much congratulatory praise been handed to the SES, despite not actual ability to point to contractors who can provide the spare parts needed to do these missions?

Oh, must we turn to the acquisiont reports--do we dare dive into the little budget documents showing the initial spares. Oh, the surprise! All this time, we thought that money was actually going to pay for the spare parts; little did we realize that that money was taken, raided, and re-allocated to cover other higher priorities like torturing, killing, and maiming innocent civilians in Guantanamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

This is what it's come down to: America's military was squandered in Iraq. We no longer have sufficient time to physically make the parts and get them combat ready. You cannot throw money into a sausage maker and expect sausage to get made faster when the sausage maker is broken.

So, now ... the brilliant SES is scratching their heads. "What do we do," they cry.

Consider that: "The leaders" are asking, "What do we do?"

Yes, your leaders. The ones who are "in charge" are asking, ""

Moon to Earth: Your leaders failed you. Your leaders are clueless. Your leaders are asking questions that followers should be asking.

They are not leaders. They are followers.

Until you vote these "leaders" out of office, there is no prospect thigns will change.

Regardless how you vote, the suasage makers aren't getting fixed. In the meantime, you've got combat forces in the filed right now that do not have enough spare parts to sustain combat operations.

This is happening right now. What are you going to do about it? Bringing charges against them doesn't solve the supply line or spare parts issue.

Once again, DoD shooting the messenger and doing nothing about the real leadership-supply problem. This is the same problem that happend in Abu Ghraib: The troops that were poorly led "did what they did," and were left blowing in the wind.

The mighty US Army. Once led by great Generals like Eisenhower, Patten, ... today, led not by warriors, but distracted by the failings of a contracting system that is unable to support sustained combat operations.

You have one person you can thank for this mess. It was well known prior to 9-11 that America could not sustain combat operations ad infinitum, as this "leader" asks us.

All the President had to do was read the same reports that told him there was no credible evidence of WMD, and he would find: There was no credible way the US could sustain multi-theater combat operations and still credibly argue it is a first-rate power.

It doesn't add up. Doesn't compute. But this President wants you to ignore that. Pretend things are going well.

They are not. The situation in Iraq is dire. Troops cannot sustain combat operations.

You have three weeks. Let it sink in. This President plans to send more troops into combat.

If you're going to have a draft, you need to make sure your troops are adequately supported. You cannot credibly call anyone into combat when you cannot furnish them with the minimal equipment to sustain combat. It's not only stupid, its reckless.

This President not only plans to do this, but is doing this now despite the advice of his senior commanders to the contrary.

What is to be expected of a man that regularly ignores the rules when it comes to the laws of war; ignores the accounting requirements when he was a CEO; and ignored the minimal service requirements when he ran away from Vietnam?

His pattern is, "Do what I want, regardless of reality." Fine, let him chase golfballs in February in Texas.

But such a problem isn't in isolation. There are reports that the President doesnt' like to read clearly documenting the current state of combat operations. Status on spare parts. Why are they contemplating massive increases in combat, but have no sustainable equipment to sustain that combat?

Where is the information train going? It's going through the filter box known as "Dick Cheney" that has kept The President insulated from reality.

Here's a hint: When you think of Iraq, think Vietnam. But think worse. We have a large force, but not large enough, that can't do the job, and this President has no plan to get them supported except to blame "his opponent."

Well, Saddam Hussein has been captured. And John Kerry has already spoken out about leaders who do not fully support their troops in combat over 30 years ago.

The real enemy to America's constitution and security is not in Iraq, Vietnam, or in the Democratic Party. They're not in the Pentagon.

America's enemy is in the White House.

Get that man out of there by voting John Kerry in. We need some new options. This President is going to send more into combat without adequate supplies. His choice. His alone.

There were no WMDs, and there was no requirement to conduct this war. This President failed to ensure that the troops were ready to sustain combat operations along all levels of potential conflict. A "success oriented war" doesn't make sense when the success hinges on illusions.

If you want more surprises, please vote for Bush so that the disaster becomes more self-evident. So that we can have 4 years of recklessness. And that will give us four years to draft artciles of impeachment. Yes, Virginia, those troops now betrayed are going to have alot to talk about: Where the orders came from, who signed them, what was discussed, and what was involved.

Betrayed warriors, when they see their fellow warriors fall for needless reasons, have long memories.

Ask John Kerry. He is one.