The interesting fight over the Crusader artillery piece stepped up a notch yesterday, as Donald Rumsfeld had Paul Wolfowitz announce his intent to cancel the project (which has already spent $2 billion and is slated to spend $11 billion total). Congress moved immediately to save the project, for the usual reasons: pork, campaign contribution paybacks, etc etc. I love this for all the dramatic reasons: the project’s champion is Secretary of the Army Thomas White, a former Enron exec. The Crusader is to be built by a company that’s a subsidiary of the Carlyle Group, which is rife with former officials including the former President Bush. The Congressmen working hardest to save the project are from Oklahoma, where the giant hunk of metal is supposed to be built. The history of the project is interesting as well. It was originally designed to blow up advancing Soviet forces in the next great war in Europe, but since that no longer looks like it’s going to happen, the tank’s advocates have come up with all sorts of other scenarios where it might be used, and have even included Afghanistan among them. How we could have rapidly deployed a 38 ton artillery piece into a landlocked country half the world away is unclear to me.