Missing in Action
It reads like an episode of the 1960s CBS comedy series Gomer Pyle, about a bumbling U.S. serviceman with an uncanny aptitude for ineptitude. The U.S. Army has lost over $900 million worth of military equipment.
In July the Democrats in Congress released a report from the General Accounting Office, the independent audit division of Congress, which detailed the lost items. The missing inventory, which was shipped in 1998, includes a remote-control device for guided-missile systems, night-vision equipment and spare parts for Apache helicopters.
The report stated that “the Army does not know the extent to which shipped inventory is lost or stolen because of weaknesses in inventory controls and financial management practices” (upi, July 20).
Tom Harkin, a democratic senator from Iowa, shared his dismay. “We’re not talking about small things like nuts and bolts. We’re talking about a rotary wing from an Apache helicopter. We’re talking about a missile guidance system. You name it and the Army has lost it.”
The report couldn’t come at a worse time for the U.S. military. Spending is down over 25 percent from 1986 levels, new recruitment numbers are at rock bottom, troops are underprepared and overcommitted, and morale is at its lowest since the Vietnam War.
America, the once-great superpower, is fast reaching the time when domestic instability will lead to isolationist cowardice, when even its trained military men won’t heed the call to battle (Ezek. 7:14).