Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beret Contract Calls for Australian Wool

Remember my post "A sign of our greatness…?" (April 29)? The following article may explain why US soldiers find their berets uncomfortable. When politics and nationalism overrules quality and commonsense, it is the wearer of the beret that suffers…

Beret Contract Calls for Australian Wool

March 19, 2004 -- U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle’s (D-S.D.) letter to President Bush stressed his concerns about the Coalition Provisional Authorities (CPA) apparent favoring of Australian products over U.S. products in their letting of contracts. 
The CPA’s most recent contract for dark blue berets are intended for the troops in Iraq. According to the Washington Post, the contract states, “Specifications for the berets are 100% wool (Australian), without emblem, 2 holes for ventilation…” 

While any contractors supposedly are allowed to freely bid on this and other contracts, the specifications clearly call for 100% Australian wool. 
Daschle stated, “This matter of preferential treatment for Australian wool is a serious concern that deserves immediate attention.” 

He urged that the contract be curtailed and re-let and “the least you can do is ensure that contracts let by the Coalition Provisional authority in Iraq do not give a preference or competitive advantage to other nations – none of whom have already contributed as much as the United State to the effort in Iraq.”

Mr Daschle could learn a lot from anyone wearing one of those great Spanish boinas. The world's best berets, after all, are made from Australian merino wool – what else needs saying?

No comments:

Post a Comment