Wednesday, December 08, 2004

You Go to War With the Army You Have 

The always care-for-the-troops-first Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with some troops in Kuwait yesterday, and took some questions. The big question that came up was about the lack of armor on many vehicles:
Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly two years after the start of the war that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.

Rumsfeld's response:
"You go to war with the Army you have," he said in a rare public airing of rank-and-file concerns among the troops.

How inspiring! It's not like this war wasn't planned ahead of time. Using humvees with armor seems pretty common sense. But, with the way our soliders were expected to be greeted in Iraq, you don't need armor for roses. I assume the insurgents also go through the landfills for armor to put on their suicide bomb cars...


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