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.