Pentagon management ignores Marine requests for tech weapons

Send in the drones. It appears that important surveillance equipment that takes up the slack when soldiers are in short supply, is also in short supply, reports Wired News.

Send in the drones. It appears that important surveillance equipment that takes up the slack when soldiers are in short supply, is also in short supply, reports Wired News.

In Iraq, there are not enough soldiers to cover thousands of square miles, so having enough aerial drones to take up the slack is a hot issue among soldiers.

Marine commanders in Iraq have filed three formal requests for more units of a drone called the "Scan Eagles." But their requests have fallen on virtually deaf ears. A report prepared by a Marine science adviser deployed to Iraq claims that Quantico fulfilled fewer than 10 percent of the 130 weapons requests filed by troops in western Iraq. The report is critical of the civilian middle management that "lacks technical and operational currency" -- and that is guilty of "process worship (that) cripples (the) operating forces."

Technology tops the list including: wireless and satellite networking gear, a video-surveillance system, several systems for neutralizing improvised explosive devices, an acoustic-triangularization technology to pinpoint snipers, and solar cells.

"To some degree, a culture of indifference existed where it was acceptable to delay or deny for months our servicemen and -women's urgent needs," says Nick Schwellenbach, a defense expert with the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington-based nonprofit that tracks pork and corruption in military contracts.

"This plays out subtly, though. It's rare to see a simple, point-blank refusal. Initiatives die somewhere in the system because they are not prioritized, and their constituency lies outside of the process and has little visibility into it."