Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Does the Army Support its Own Troops?

MSNBC is reporting that the Army seems to be putting Raytheon's profit margins ahead of troop survival.

The Israelis developed and are now deploying a new system that intercepts rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). The system was extremely successful in US military testing (it intercepted and destroyed 29 out of 30 RPGs, and when it "missed" the 30th, it merely hit the wrong end of the RPG). It's affordable (as weapons systems go). It could save the lives of a lot of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who come under RPG fire. The Pentagon wants to buy it. The Army doesn't.

Why, you might ask, doesn't the Army want to buy it? As best as anybody can figure, the Army is opposed because buying the Israeli system might compete with a US-based program run by Raytheon to develop an American anti-RPG system.

The only problem is, the Raytheon system won't be ready until 2011 (at the earliest). The Israeli system is ready to go now.

If anybody out there is a constituent of a member of the Senate or House Armed Services Committee, please write a paper letter or make a phone call to say that maybe it's not cool for American soldiers to be getting killed for 5 years so that Raytheon doesn't have to get its ass in gear.


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