Scrounging Armor From the Trash Heap

We’ve all heard by now about Pfc. Wilson’s embarrassing question to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld regarding the need to scrounge scrap metal from for “up-armor” military vehicles in Iraq. Some thoughts:

  • While Pfc. Wilson probably didn’t help his career by embarrassing the Secretary of Defense in front of news cameras, a soldier asking this type of question of a superior in most of the rest of the world’s armies could wake up dead.
  • The need for armor for nearly every vehicle used by the military in Iraq is a product of the type of war being fought by the insurgents. There is no “front” or “rear” in Iraq; the entire country is more or less a war zone.
  • My dad made this observation: “Some of these kids need to talk to their grandfathers and ask them how much protection they got from a government issued cloth shirt.”

Dad has a point, but Grandpa knew where the front line was back in 1918 and ’19 in France. He was reasonably secure with the motor pool. The kids in Iraq are pulling front-line duty behind the lines. Sort of like police officers in some of our rougher neighborhoods here in the States, but facing larger caliber weapons.

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