Murphy's Law: May 5, 2001


A few weeks before the Army revealed it was short of 9mm pistol ammunition for training, President Clinton signed orders sending 3.5 million rounds of 9mm ammunition from US Army stocks to the Army and police of Ecuador to aid in the war against drug trafficking. Taking the ammunition from the Army allowed President Clinton to help Ecuador without having to ask Congress for money. The order was signed only a few days before Clinton left office. The Army, however, has to live with the "unfunded requirement" by using up the surplus of ammunition left over from prior years, and, when that was not enough, by restricting the availability of the ammunition for training. Most staff officers and many vehicle crewmen carry the 9mm pistol as their personal weapon but in all seriousness could rarely expect to use it in combat.--Stephen V Cole


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