Officers in Iraq have been begging the Pentagon to replace their vulnerable Humvees with mine-proof MRAPs for years, but to no avail. Now senators Joe Biden and Kit Bond estimate that 700 lives could have been saved if the Pentagon had shipped out the MRAPs earlier, and USA Today reports that the number may be significantly higher.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon rushed MRAPs to the Iraqi army even as requests for safer vehicles for US troops were being shuffled from desk to desk. MRAPs can deflect the mine blasts on roadways which soldiers recognized as a major peril early on. "I sure hope no one gets wasted before the powers-that-be get off their collective fat asses," wrote a colonel in 2004. (Read more Humvees stories.)