$87 BILLION

Bill Sammon and Amy Fagan provide some details on what the $87 billion additional Iraq spending will be used for:

A senior administration official in Baghdad said $300 million will be spent on body armor designed to help GIs survive the sort of sniper fire that has claimed dozens of American lives in recent months.

“This is a better form than what we bought in the past,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “That’s what we needed.”

Another $140 million will be spent on what soldiers call “up-armored” Humvees, which can better withstand hits from mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

“This was an assessment made based on the situation on the ground,” the official said.

The body armor and Humvees are part of the $66 billion that Mr. Bush has requested for military expenditures on Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries during the next year. In an address to the nation on Sunday, he also asked Congress for $21 billion in reconstruction funds, almost all of which would be earmarked for Iraq.

Interesting. When I was in the Army, the only ones with up-armored HMMVWs were the MPs.

And more admission of adjusting to planning misjudgments:

Several senior Bush officials said the administration underestimated the cost of rebuilding Iraq and was unprepared for the release of prisoners, who are adding to the chaos.

“The level of decay and underinvestment in the Iraqi infrastructure was worse than, I think it’s fair to say, anyone on the outside anticipated,” said a senior administration official in Washington.

A second official in Baghdad added: “We were all surprised by how neglected, brittle and fragile the infrastructure was here. It is really difficult to exaggerate how chronic the underinvestment was.”

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.