It took a couple of weeks, but the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee is finally getting some answers about why the Missouri National Guard has only about a third of the equipment it needs. West Central Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton asked the question because he says Congress gave the Guard extra money to make sure it had enough stuff. His answer back from officials doesn’t please him, but he says it makes a certain amount of sense. He’s been told the war in Iraq is taking a much heavier-than-expected toll on the equipment. Skelton says what’s even more worrisome is the fact that the defense manufacturers are at top capacity and cannot keep up with the demand the war is putting on them.