We’ve probably all heard the jokes about "military intelligence" being an oxymoron, and this latest development will probably just add fuel to the fire of cynics and critics of defense department spending. The Pentagon is planning on giving away up to 13,000 MRAP armored vehicles free. That's right, no cost to the purchasers. The vehicles cost up to $500,000 new. Unclaimed vehicles will likely be scrapped.

Although this move seems extremely wasteful, the defense department sees no need for the vehicles for the foreseeable future, and keeping and maintaining the vehicles is a legacy cost the Pentagon doesn't want to deal with. Unfortunately, this is potentially bad news for Navistar Defense and other defense contractors that built the MRAP. Contractors also produce and sell spare parts for the vehicles, and the de-commissioning of such a large number of vehicles could affect the contractors' future outlooks.

So far, about 200 of the MRAPs have been given to police departments around the country, with requests for 750 more. Private citizens and businesses are not eligible to buy the decommissioned MRAPs. Interest from allies and foreign governments has been weak so far, as most of the vehicles were used in Afghanistan, which has a notorious reputation for being tough on vehicles.

Source: Wall Street Journal via MSN