CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait -- An American soldier complained to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Wednesday troops were being forced to dig up scrap metal to protect their vehicles in Iraq because of a shortage of armored transport.
The Defense Department has an inventory of $70 billion worth of spare and repair parts. But they have no good system to track that stuff or know were many of those parts are at any given time. That can lead to the military buying stuff it doesn't need, simply because they didn't know they already had it in stock.
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.