Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Outrage overload

Fred Kaplan's new Slate column, Supplemental Insecurity plucks this item out of the latest source of outrage overload, the supplemental budget request.
    Deeply buried in the Bush administration's 97-page supplemental budget request for $81.9 billion ($75 billion of it for the Pentagon), mainly to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is one sentence that expresses—more succinctly and shockingly than any official statement to date—just how little progress we've made toward making Iraq a stable nation.

    It's there in the section dealing with the $5.7 billion requested for the "Iraq Security Force Fund," which notes that the interim Iraqi government, with assistance from coalition nations, has already created a security force of 90 battalions, but then adds:

    All but one of these 90 battalions, however, are lightly equipped and armed, and have very limited mobility and sustainment capabilities.

    In other words, 89 of Iraq's 90 battalions essentially cannot fight.
What is left to say about this staggering irresponsibility to American troops in the field? And their suffering families?

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