Military leaders knew before the Iraq war that roadside bombs would threaten troops, but they still dragged their heels on adopting vehicles more resistant to IEDs, a Pentagon investigation has found. In 2005 officials stopped processing an urgent request from field commanders for vehicles called MRAPs, whose height and hull shape deflect underside attacks better than military Humvees, USA Today reports.
"Some bureaucrats at the Pentagon have much to explain," says Sen. Kit Bond, who along with Joe Biden demanded the internal probe. IEDs are the deadliest weapon used against American soldiers in Iraq, and an earlier report blamed the delay for hundreds of Marines' deaths. Since May 2007, the military has spent $22 billion on more than 15,000 MRAPs.