An estimated 2,000 service members lives saved by MRAPs
Armored trucks designed to protect troops from roadside bombs and adapted to conditions in Afghanistan have saved more than 2,000 American lives there, far fewer than the Pentagon estimated last year, according to data released to USA TODAY.
The Pentagon began speeding Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 to help counter insurgents’ weapon of choice, the improvised explosive device (IED). IEDs remain the top killer of U.S. troops. Makeshift bombs account for more than 50% of U.S. troop deaths, according to the Pentagon.
The Pentagon has spent $45 billion on MRAPs since 2007, a price tag criticized recently in an article in Foreign Affairs, the magazine published by the Council on Foreign Relations. The trucks do not perform significantly better than Humvees, the cheaper vehicle they replaced, according to the article’s authors, who based their findings on Pentagon data.
The Pentagon disputed the article’s findings, saying classified data unavailable to the article’s authors prove the safety of the vehicles used in Afghanistan. In July 2009, Gates ordered more MRAPs to Afghanistan, including 5,200 of a new MRAP variant specifically designed for Afghanistan called the M-ATV.
“The data … show the lifesaving benefits of these vehicles was certainly worth the cost and is absolutely worth the lives of the thousands of war fighters who came home to their families, friends and colleagues as a result of the lifesaving features of the MRAPs and M-ATVs,” according to a Pentagon statement released by spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin.
Believe you me, MRAPs work and every cent spent on them was with it.