Report: Troops Left Vulnerable To IEDs

An internal Pentagon investigation finds that the Marine Corps left troops in Iraq vulnerable to deadly roadside bombs by failing to answer an urgent request for blast-resistant vehicles.

The Associated Press obtained portions of an inspector general's report expected to be released Tuesday.

It says Marine acquisition officials shelved a request from battlefield commanders for the MRAPS in February 2005 after deciding armored versions of the Humvee were the best answer. But, the beefier Humvees proved incapable of withstanding the increasingly powerful roadside bombs.

The report says the Marine Corps and the other military branches were aware of the threat from mines and roadside bombs well before U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003. It also says they were aware that MRAPs were commercially available, yet nothing was done to acquire them.

Still, the report finds no evidence of criminal negligence.

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