DOD IG: Marines Slow to Defend Against IEDs

  • (Source: Project On Government Oversight, POGO)
  • 12:00 AM, December 11, 2008
  • 3257
Remember how Secretary Gates talked about procurement needing to reflect strategic needs? Well, there's more evidence of the problem. POGO has obtained and is making publicly available for the first time a Department of Defense Inspector General report showing that even though "DoD was aware of the threat posed by mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDS) in low-intensity conflicts and of the availability of mine-resistant vehicles years before insurgent actions began in Iraq in 2003...DoD did not develop requirements for, fund, or acquire MRAP-type vehicles for low-intensity conflicts that involved mines and IEDs.">> The report came as a result of complaints from whistleblower and Marine Corps science advisor Franz Gayl--whose internal study POGO made available in February. He found that the Marine Corps "grossly mismanaged" requests from marines in Iraq for highly survivable vehicles, leading to unacceptable delays that have cost the lives of hundreds U.S. servicemen and women.>> Former POGO National Security Investigator Nick Schwellenbach had called for an investigation since May 2007, and in February, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) joined POGO in urging a Congressional investigation into the MRAP, other delays, and retaliation against Gayl. A bipartisan group of senators--Sens. Christopher Bond (R-MO), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Vice President-elect Joe Biden (D-DE)--heeded that call.>> As Tony Capaccio from Bloomberg News reports, the DOD IG report found that the Marine Corps never responded to an Iraq combat commander's "urgent request" in February 2005 for fortified vehicles.