This morning the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) sent the Senate a letter urging each of them to support the needs of the troops by voting for Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) Amendment 2580 to strike $2.5 billion in funding for unneeded C-17 cargo planes.
Instead, POGO argues in this letter that the Senate should consider reallocating resources, particularly to enhance the safety and effectiveness of Special Forces "white missions" in Pakistan and Afghanistan to recruit and train local antiterrorist militias and engage the enemy in remote areas.
"We are concerned, based on documents and photographs obtained by POGO and published in the press, that U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan lack sufficient heavy-lift helicopters," wrote POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. "Without these helicopters, troops must use land vehicles, which are vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Of the last eleven deaths among U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan, eight have been caused by IEDs."
In addition to the letter, POGO referred senators to their website for pictures of land vehicles destroyed in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan that would have been otherwise been performed with helicopters, had the resources been available.