"While I was driving on the highway this afternoon, I saw this very sporty looking hybrid . . ."
"Sorry, dear, we're short on cash."
"Do you know how much it costs to fill the Honda with gas?"
Well, tonight I have a little surprise for my wife. Actually, it's kind of a big surprise, which is going to fill up the entire driveway: Our next car is an MRAP!
"An MRAP?" you ask. "What's that?" Answer: Simple. As reported by The Washington Post in an article entitled "Scrapping equipment key to Afghan drawdown" ((http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/scrapping-equipment-key-to-afghan-drawdown/2013/06/19/9d435258-d83f-11e2-b418-9dfa095e125d_story.html?hpid=z1)) by Ernesto Londoño:
"Facing a tight withdrawal deadline and tough terrain, the U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other military equipment as it rushes to wind down its role in the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014.
The massive disposal effort, which U.S. military officials call unprecedented, has unfolded largely out of sight amid an ongoing debate inside the Pentagon about what to do with the heaps of equipment that won’t be returning home. Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment — about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan — because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to ship back home.
. . . .
The most contentious and closely watched part of the effort involves the disposal of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, the hulking beige personnel carriers that the Pentagon raced to build starting in 2007 to counter the threat of roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. The massive trucks, known as MRAPs, came to symbolize the bloody evolution of wars that were meant to be short conflicts but turned into quagmires.
The Pentagon has determined that it will no longer have use for about 12,300 of its 25,500 MRAPs scattered at bases worldwide, officials said. In Afghanistan, the military has labeled about 2,000 of its roughly 11,000 MRAPs 'excess.' About 9,000 will be shipped to the United States and U.S. military bases in Kuwait and elsewhere, but the majority of the unwanted vehicles — which cost about $1 million each — will probably be shredded, officials said, because they are unlikely to find clients willing to come pick them up."
"Unlikely to find clients willing to come pick them up"? No way! Later today, I'm flying to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, to select my own MRAP, which I can't wait to drive with the top down beside the beach.
Imagine the smile on my wife's face when I drive up to the house in our brand new rugged terrain vehicle! She always wanted a Jeep, and now I'm sure to make her proud!