Procurement: February 13, 2004

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The U.S. Army wants $1.4 billion next year, to buy ammunition. Some 70 percent of that ammo would be used for training. Another 15 percent would go to building up a "war reserve" (a stockpile of ammo to deal with the surge of demand in wartime, giving the factories time to catch up.) But given the demands for increased training, earlier rifle ammo shortages and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's believed that another $200 million is needed for training ammo, and nearly a billion dollars more for the war reserve. Why so much for the war reserve? Two words. North Korea. If war broke out in North Korea, the army would be using a lot more artillery and rocket ammo than was used in Iraq. Already, the army is sending the latest models of protective vests and M-1 tanks to South Korea. The economic and social situation in North Korea continues to get worse and there's real fear that a desperate leadership up there will flip out and try and invade South Korea to "solve" their economic problems. This is not as unusual as it sounds, for money woes were the primary reason Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

 


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