Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Remember the stories about soldiers who couldn't get bulletproof vests or armor for their Humvees? Well, they've tried to take care of those problems, but you know how it is. There's always one more damn thing. Le Monde reports that the thing now is bullets:

The Pentagon is spending tens of billions of dollars to develop the weapons of the future, but today it has to deal with a shortage of bullets. The American Army expects to lavish itself in future years with a battlefield communication system for all field personnel, and with intelligent uniforms which can change color, tend the soldiers' ills, and react immediately to a biological or chemical attack. But while waiting for that, the GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan risk finding themselves short of small caliber munitions for their M16 rifles. To the point that the Pentagon has had to urgently import cartridges from Great Britain and Israel.

Le Monde goes on to report that we're down to one sole factory for the ammunition, which can't keep up with demand. (Though they also report that there's a billion-bullet strategic reserve -- about 8 months' supply at current rates; the purchases from Britain and Israel are to avoid dipping into that). Le Monde also reports that many in Congress are rather upset about this situation. But if you surf over to your friendly neighborhood warbloggers, I'm sure you can find someone to point out the truly important part of this story -- that the United States Army has once more been insulted by the French.


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