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Posted by John Keller

It doesn't make much sense, which is what makes it so believable. When the federal government -- any agency in the federal government -- encounters a big, potentially embarrassing problem, it overwhelms the problem with money and resources. No matter if the expenditures actually solve the problem or not, by God the government is going to do something about it!

Even if what the government ultimately does is just silly.

So it is lately with the so-called mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, better-known as MRAP. Congress went nuts forcing these MRAPs on U.S. fighting forces in the Middle East in the wake of controversies about under-armored Humvees, which were blamed for causing the deaths of too many American kids in uniform.

Now the Pentagon is crying uncle, as Army and Marine Corps units are drowning in MRAPs. They've got too many and don't need any more, which could be depriving the Congress of making more political hay of tragic American deaths in combat theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Christian Lowe had a great piece in the Daily Standard about the MRAP glut. He also has a blog in Defense Tech saying he told us so.

I wish I could say I'm surprised, but I've been covering the federal government now for 26 years, and I've seen it too many times before. Watch the next time there's a world-ending forest fire out West. God bless 'em, the federal agencies put out these fires almost literally by pouring money on them.

I can't blame Congress for wanting to take action to keep American kids in uniform out of harm's way with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) sown thick as cabbages on Iraqi highways. But would it be a crime to think the problem through and consider -- just for a minute -- if pouring buckets of armored vehicles on the problem was the best way to go?

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Welcome to the lighter side of Military & Aerospace Electronics. This is where our staff recount tales of the strange, the weird, and the otherwise offbeat. We could put news here, but we have the rest of our Website for that. Enjoy our scribblings, and feel free to add your own opinions. You might also get to know us in the process. Proceed at your own risk.

John Keller for MAE
John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Courtney Howard for MAE Courtney E. Howard is senior editor of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine. She is responsible for writing news stories and feature articles for the print publication, as well as composing daily news for the magazine's Website and assembling the weekly electronic newsletter. Her features have appeared in such high-tech trade publications as Military & Aerospace Electronics, Computer Graphics World, Electronic Publishing, Small Times, and The Audio Amateur.

John McHale for MAE John McHale is executive editor of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, where he has been covering the defense Industry for more than dozen years. During that time he also led PennWell's launches of magazines and shows on homeland security and a defense publication and website in Europe. Mr. McHale has served as chairman of the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum and its Advisory Council since 2004. He lives in Boston with his golf clubs.