A Card in Every Foxhole

The MoJo Wire offers a home-grown solution to one of the military’s most nagging problems.

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“The outdated map that led NATO mistakenly to bomb the Chinese Embassy was provided by the same intelligence officials who were at the centre of two other recent major international embarrassments for the Clinton Administration. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency supplied a map that was used by the Marine Corps pilots who flew into a ski-lift cable in Italy killing 20 people. The cable was not marked on the map…. The agency’s officials, who are responsible for studying satellite photographs, also failed to spot India’s preparations for testing a nuclear device, which caught the CIA completely by surprise last year.”

The Sunday Times of London, May 13

I want AAA for the U.S. Army!

~

Here at the MoJo Wire, we’re not satisfied by simply sitting back and laughing at the military’s ineptitude. We’re searching the globe for real-life solutions to stubborn world problems.

Problem: Old, inaccurate maps

Solution: A joint membership in the American Automobile Association (AAA) for NATO and Uncle Sam

Included in the membership are benefits even a brigadier general could love!

  • Free, updated maps and TourBooks for virtually every prospective imperialist’s destination. TourBooks help in locating embassies, hospitals, passenger train routes, and other potential strategic targets!

  • With AAA, the military can receive discounts from hundreds of merchants nationwide. No more of those pesky $4,000 toilet seats!

  • If the General Accounting Office likes the sound of that, then it’ll love the free or discounted financial services available through AAA. Watch that Pentagon budget balance every time!

  • AAA’s Vehicle Purchasing Service (VPS) could prevent future gaffes like the Army’s embarrassing $15.7 billion truck scandal. The Army purchased thousands of Medium Tactical Vehicles, which have defective drive trains and tend to overturn at speeds as slow as 12 mph. With VPS, the Army could have had trusty AAA mechanics inspect the trucks ahead of time, and been armed with the knowledge needed to pick a truck model that actually worked. And with a AAA card in hand, any corporal stuck with an overturned truck could call Emergency Roadside Assistance!

  • Uncle Sam would also be eligible for discounted vehicle insurance, which could do wonders for the bottom line on the Apache helicopter program.

Of course, this membership would not solve all the difficulties of war for our military masterminds. A number of the routes through delightful countryside, architectural attractions, and historic sites the Yugoslavia tour guide might recommend are a little worse for wear, but we bet it’s a little harder to secure a hotel reservation in downtown Skopje, Macedonia than some guide books would suggest, what with the sudden influx of accidental tourists. We also got a nice rundown on the weather patterns in Belgrade. (Note to NATO: May and June are rainy months. You might want to park the Stealth fighters for awhile.)

In the interest of keeping costs down (you know how cash-strapped the DoD is), perhaps AAA could extend some kind of group discount or dues waiver, sort of like what the U.N. does. And what the U.S. still owed could be folded into the already bloated Kosovo funding bill.

After all, the card literally pays for itself in the first international skirmish!

This has been a public-service message from the MoJo Wire.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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