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Ear to the Ground

The Cost of War Mounts

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Posted on Dec 5, 2006
tank yard
washingtonpost.com

The Army says military equipment is breaking down faster than it can be repaired, and has asked for more money.  The estimated cost for repairs is $17 billion to $19 billion annually, and Congress has already approved an extra $23.8 billion for emergency maintenance in 2007.


Washington Post:

The military’s ground forces are only beginning the vast and costly job of replacing, repairing and upgrading combat equipment—work that will cost an estimated $17 billion to $19 billion annually for several more years, regardless of any shift in Iraq strategy. The Army alone has 280,000 major pieces of equipment in combat zones that will eventually have to be fixed or replaced. Before the war, the Army spent $2.5 billion to $3 billion a year on wear and tear.

At Anniston [Army Depot in Alabama], the sprawling lots of tanks and other armored vehicles are just the start of a huge backlog in broken-down gear.

Responding to urgent requests from the Army and Marine Corps, Congress approved an extra $23.8 billion in October to replace worn-out equipment in fiscal 2007. With the money, the Army plans to double the workload at its depots, which will repair and upgrade 130,000 pieces in 2007, up from 63,000 last year. This will include a quadrupling of the number of tanks, Bradleys and other tracked vehicles overhauled, from 1,000 to 4,000.

At Anniston, which will handle 1,800 combat vehicles in fiscal 2007, a cavernous 250,000-square-foot repair shop is humming as damaged tanks are rolled in one by one and disassembled with the help of giant cranes. Removing an M1 tank’s turret alone takes a day and a half, and the entire overhaul requires 54 days and costs about $1 million, said Ted A. Law, the depot’s vehicle manager.

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If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Rodney Matthews, December 5, 2006 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Instead of worrying about spending more money on wars and weapons of mass destruction, why don’t we fund health care for all Americans and rebuild the Gulf Coast and ask the American people for donations to pay for George Bushes war in Iraq?

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By Quy Tran, December 5, 2006 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Enough is enough ! How much of almost 24 billion
will go to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton ?

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By Sirius99, December 5, 2006 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You run a Corporation the way the USG and the DOD are run, the shareholders would throw you out.

About time the shareholders in USof A, Inc. did the same.

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By Karen, December 5, 2006 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If it were up to me, I would not give the Pentagon one more dime until it passed an audit. 

I believe auditors have declared the Pentagon budget unauditable because its books are in such disarray.  At more than $500 billion a year, plus supplementals, that’s a lot of money to throw around without insisting on real accountability!

I have no doubt that if an honest and dogged auditor followed the money trail, he would find major graft and corruption.

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