$314 Million to Fight the Russians Before 2020
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio took explained this week why the military contractor General Dynamics needed an extra $314 million: to fight the Russians before 2020. His floor remarks:
“The big news when I was over there was that there was a road march being conducted by the 2nd Calvary Regiment through Central and Eastern Europe. The 2nd Calvary Regiment is in Europe, but they were taking this road march through Central and Eastern Europe. This was taking
their Strykers, which is the only permanently stationed U.S. armored vehicle in Europe, on roads and through small towns–towns that fear an
increasingly aggressive Russia on their doorstep….
“Their weapons systems are, frankly, inadequate to meet their potential mission requirements if they are called upon. They need a more powerful
gun. They need to replace their .50-caliber machine gun with a 30-millimeter cannon. The soldiers understand that. The Army understands that.
“The Army has already identified this requirement, and prior to the deteriorating situation in Europe, they slated to field this improved weapons systems to these Strykers starting in 2020. So they knew it was a problem. They knew they had to address it. Then we saw this deteriorating situation in Europe caused by Crimea’s being annexed and now the situation on the eastern border of Ukraine.
“The soldiers manning these Strykers today know that 2020 is just too far in the future.”
And so Rob Portman proposed, and so the U.S. Senate passed, an amendment appropriating $314 million to the military contractor General Dynamics to upgrade Stryker fighting vehicles ahead of schedule. Ahead of schedule means that “the first such specially equipped Stryker could be deployed within 18-months after the contract is awarded, according to the release,” which means that the $314 million will be spent to deliver the Stryker upgrades in 2018 instead of 2020. A third of a billion dollars goes to General Dynamics so that the United States can better fight Russia in a ground war in 2018 instead of in 2020.
In case you were wondering, only 6 of the 61 Senators who just voted to throw a third of a billion dollars
at a military contractor to move up a ground war with Russia by two years have also cosponsored legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to a livable level. Better a contract for a fictional war overseas than real benefits at home.