|06-28-2006, 07:16 AM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
Army, Marines Cite High Cost to Replace Weapons
No problem right, I mean this is what taxpayer money is for, conducting a police action in a country we're turning into a theocracy.
Army, Marines cite high cost to replace weapons
By Andrea Shalal-Esa Tue Jun 27, 5:45 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Replacing, repairing and upgrading worn-out equipment in
Iraq and Afghanistan would cost $17.1 billion in the next fiscal year, the U.S. Army's top general said on Tuesday, warning that failure to foot the bill could harm troop readiness.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker said that sum included $4.9 billion in "reset" costs that were not funded in fiscal 2006.
Military equipment costs in Iraq and Afghanistan were seen at around $12 billion to $13 billion a year for each year they continued and up to three years thereafter, he said.
Schoomaker told a House Armed Services Committee hearing that if the equipment was not replaced or repaired, "You'll see a rapid drop off in readiness."
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military has accounted for a major portion of the government's overall increased spending.
President George W. Bush earlier this year proposed allocating nearly a half-trillion dollars for the
Pentagon in fiscal 2007.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee said his service faced a bill of $11.9 billion due to the high rate of wear and tear on military equipment.
Both generals urged Congress to fully fund the needed investments in equipment, noting that it often took several years to actually get new armored trucks, helicopters and repaired vehicles once the money was approved.
They also stressed that efforts to modernize the Army and Marines should continue, partly to help offset rising personnel costs.
Schoomaker said it would be "foolish" to cut the Army's Future Combat Systems modernization program because it would help the Army become more efficient and mobile.
The generals defended the Bush administration's strategy of requesting funds to "reset" the military as part of emergency spending bills, noting that these costs were directly related to damage and wear from wartime use.
Military equipment was aging about four years for every year in theater because of the rough environments, heavy use and poor maintenance, "dramatically shortening their life," Schoomaker said.
The Army faced about $56 billion in equipment shortages at the start of the Iraq war in the spring of 2003 and it was critical to avoid the same predicament next time, he said.