Historically, the Marines have always been stuck with b-list equipment. But this is remarkable, from the Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON -- Marine Corps units fighting in some of the most dangerous terrain in Iraq don't have enough weapons, communications gear, or properly outfitted vehicles, according to an investigation by the Marine Corps' inspector general provided to Congress yesterday.
The report, obtained by the Globe, says the estimated 30,000 Marines in Iraq need twice as many heavy machine guns, more fully protected armored vehicles, and more communications equipment to operate in a region the size of Utah.
The Marine Corps leadership has ''understated" the amount and types of ground equipment it needs, according to the investigation, concluding that all of its fighting units in Iraq ''require ground equipment that exceeds" their current supplies, ''particularly in mobility, engineering, communications, and heavy weapons."
The report says that about a quarter of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force's Humvees lack sufficient armor to protect troops against roadside bombings, including 1,000 vehicles that have yet to be fitted with armor plates to protect the undercarriage.
Check out the accompanying graphic:
Read the article. But here's the question that it leaves me with: Why is this happening? I don't mean that rhetorically. I mean, is this just another example of how in reality our military just can't keep up its current rate of operations? And if Marine commanders have 'understated' the problem, then why? There's a larger context going on here, and I'm not sure I grasp it.