Thu, Feb 12, 2009 - Page 3 News List

DPP pans military's 'green' live drill

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday panned the military's decision to conduct fewer live-fire drills to minimize carbon emissions.

The Ministry of National Defense said on Tuesday that the military had proposed a total of 58 drills over the next 18 months, with about half of the drills requiring soldiers to complete the drills without firing ammunition.

The ministry said holding fewer live-fire drills would help save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) said the military should use up its old ammunition during war games and procure new ones rather than allowing the stockpile of ammunition to expire.

“Without new ammunition, if the country faced an emergency and discovered it did not have enough good ammunition, the war would be all over very soon,” Chai said.

He said that holding war games means the country places importance on national defense, adding that it is a display of national power.

However, the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wants to shrink the military to show his “sincerity” to China, Chai said.

DPP Legislator Hsueh Ling (薛凌) said that based on military records, only about one-fifth of the military's ammunition could be used in war as the other four-fifths had expired.

Some ammunition has been in storage for almost 20 years and has never been freed up for use in war exercises — which is ridiculous, Hsueh said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Shuai Hua-ming (帥化民), a member of the legislature's Foreign and National Defense Committee, dismissed the ministry's argument that firing fewer ammunition could reduce carbon emission as “nonsense.”

Shuai said all military units should use up their ammunition stockpiles before their expiration date.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG

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