The Bad News About the MRAP-ATV

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Today’s war photo of the day is of a brand-new mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles (MRAP-ATV or M-ATV) sitting at Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan. The very first M-ATVs designated for use in Southern Afghanistan arrived last Thursday, October 22. (The first batch of M-ATVs arrived earlier this month.) Think about that for a minute. It’s taken eight years to start getting US soldiers in Afghanistan vehicles that can both protect them from roadside bombs and maneuver on the country’s rough terrain. The good news, according to defense secretary Robert Gates, is that thousands more M-ATVs will arrive in theater over the next year. But you have to wonder how many lives could have been saved if the military had prioritized fighting the current war (instead of building F-22s for the next war) back in 2001, and you have to wonder whether all this effort is coming too late.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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