Some soldier perspective on the question posed to Sec. Rumsfeld the other day:
Greyhawk + follow-up
A Line in the Sand
2Slick + follow-up
And from my favorite reservist:
I've started writing about armor on vehicles quite a few times only to cancel it. We just can't get into the details without violating OPSEC (Operational Security). I can't tell you why that works without revealing details that can be of use to our enemies. I especially can't talk about the downsides either.
The first IED I ever saw took out an 18-wheeler in front of me. It blew the cab on to the left side of the road while the trailer careened off to the right. At the time, I was riding in an unarmored Humvee without doors.
I went to Fallujah in a Humvee with canvas doors.
I hunkered behind a "frankenstein" scrap metal door in Najaf as bullets bounced off.
With all that and more, I'm not sure it really makes all that much of a difference. When I look at the trade offs with what is truly gained, I really don't know. I do know that many soldiers now and before us went into Harm's Way with less ~ am I or any other soldier any more special?
One thing I have truly come to believe, if its your time - it's your time. I don't care if you're wrapped in armor while sitting in a bunker, if it's your time then you're a goner. So with that in mind, does it really make that much of a difference?
I round 'em up, you decide.
MORE TO GROK:
More on armor above.
Posted by Sarah at December 12, 2004 09:53 AM
Just found you're site vis-a-vis technorati. Very impressive! I definitely agree with your husband's letter, and I can relate to everything he says there.
You got an email from Ben Stein! Holy crap, dude- that's awesome!
Glad I found your site- keep up the great work, and I have to agree with Ben- your husband is a star...
Every soldier is special and deserves the best that our country can provide to them for safety. If we believe "if its your time - it's your time," then why even issue body armor or give the many shots and vaccines to our soldiers. I don't care how or why the question was asked but that it was asked. If these soldiers are willing to give a year of their life to defend our "liberties" then don't they deserve the best. They should not be spending their time going thru landfills for armor but instead are they not there to help rebuild the country. President Bush said they same...these soldiers deserve the best. I want my two sons to have as much protection as possible while they are over there.
It's true when he says 'when it's your time it's your time.' My Granddad used to say it doesn't matter if you're crossing the street or sitting on the toilet - when it's your time to go - you go. However, I do wish we adapted quicker with armor and I wish there was a better way to defuse IEDs or RPGs without having to have Humvees, Tanks and other vehicles blown up with people getting hurt and dying. But the enemy adapts and so do we, I guess. War is war and nothing goes according to plan. I just hope our soldiers can start NOT getting hurt or killed by these IEDs so they can get their jobs done and come home.
Greyhawk is right. Hackworth used to be interesting but now he's just a tired old man looking to expose "perfumed princes" and aafes abuse. Like Sarah's letter writer, I too tooled up and down Higway One in canvas doored hummers on more than one occasion and as has been said above, when its your time to go its your time to go. It sucks if you happen to be on a plane with someone else who's time is up but there you go. Hopefully the embed from Chatanooga has enjoyed his 15 minutes. Now its time to go back to winning this war.
Agreed. Hackworth and that embed need to go on one of those "meet the has-beens" cruises- they have outlived their usefulness in the overall realm of importance. They are running as fast as they can, but the little hamster wheel isn't turning. Their efforts would be better served by helping to win this war- not by casting doubt and negativity at every turn...I won't hold my breath.
I don't know if Hackworth is responsible, but Aakash has been comment spamming the same paragraph on multiple blogs on this same subject. I'm willing to wager that the next Great Military Failure, perhaps the revelation that MRE cocoa contains transfatty acids or the Pentagon faces a shortage of left handed bootlaces, we'll see it again.
There was a long article in the Colorado Springs Gazette a few days ago about the work being done by soldiers at Fort Carson (on the south side of town) to armor their Hummvees before returning to Iraq. The soldiers are getting the protection they need, but often only when they do it themselves. It just takes too long to ship an existing hummer to the factory, have the armor installed, and wait to get it back. The Carson troops will leave early January for Iraq.
The thing to remember here is that the soldiers saw a problem, found a solution to it, and began implementing that solution. The folks at the Pentagon saw it was a good idea, and began implementing it throughout the military. Compare that to the two-plus years it took for the Navy to get around to replacing defective torpedo exploders during WW II.