Monday, May 14, 2007

Governors on the Guard

A quick survey from the Chicago Tribune shows only Tennessee and Rhode Island have the National Guard equipment on hand to respond to major emergencies.

The Bush administration has been borrowing National Guard equipment for the Iraq War. Most of it is left in Iraq or destroyed in fighting there.

Two Government Accountibility Office reports since 2005 have shown repeated shortages of equipment to meet state missions. It showed Illinois, for example, only had 45% of the earthmovers needed to respond to emergency flooding on the Mississippi or Ohio Rivers.

Other shortages:
  • New Jersey: 42% of needed equipment
  • Idaho: 42%
  • Arizona: 34%
  • Louisiana; 50%
Hurricane Katrina exposed the shortages when Louisiana was left without deep water equipment to rescue people in the post storm flooding.

Just this spring, Gov Jodi Rell (R-CT) says her state is missing equipment needed to dig out of a northeaster. Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) reports only half the deep water vehicles needed for flood response.

Snowplows and flood equipment. Sent to Iraq. Can't figure out why any of President Bush's plans haven't worked yet. (Chicago Tribune)

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