Study: MRAP requests could have saved lives

February 16, 2008 7:45:50 PM PST
A Marine Corps study obtained by The Associated Press concludes that hundreds of Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because OF bureaucratic footdragging at the Pentagon. The internal study was written by a civilian official of the Marine Corps. It says battlefield commanders made an urgent request in 2005 for vehicles that could resist blasts, huge trucks called MRAPs. That stands for "Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected."

The report says deliveries were delayed for more than two years because of "gross mismanagement." The million-dollar-per-truck cost prompted rejection. It was seen as a threat to programs aimed at developing other vehicles.

The trucks weren't shipped in large numbers until last May, when new Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave them top priority.