The Bad News About the MRAP-ATV

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Today’s war photo of the day is of a brand-new mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles (MRAP-ATV or M-ATV) sitting at Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan. The very first M-ATVs designated for use in Southern Afghanistan arrived last Thursday, October 22. (The first batch of M-ATVs arrived earlier this month.) Think about that for a minute. It’s taken eight years to start getting US soldiers in Afghanistan vehicles that can both protect them from roadside bombs and maneuver on the country’s rough terrain. The good news, according to defense secretary Robert Gates, is that thousands more M-ATVs will arrive in theater over the next year. But you have to wonder how many lives could have been saved if the military had prioritized fighting the current war (instead of building F-22s for the next war) back in 2001, and you have to wonder whether all this effort is coming too late.

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