11. December 2004 · Comments Off on Armor Update · Categories: Iraq, Military

We should straighten out some confusion here relative to my earlier post concerning the sufficiency of our armor on vehicles used in Iraq. The problem is not so much with the HUMMWV. we have 15,000 of our 19,000 HUMMWVs currently deployed in Iraq fully armored. The problem is with our 30,000-some trucks, of all shapes and sizes, most of which are not armored.

This is all part and parcel of failure to plan for the occupation. Experience in Lebanon should have told us we would encounter this sort of resistance. Or, we might have taken the Israelis as an example; they have very little in the inventory which doesn’t have armor.

The appropriate thing for the administration to do at this point, would be to go hat-in-hand to Congress, for authorization both for the troop build-up required for domestic security in Iraq, and possible extra-territorial operations in Syria and Iran, should those be required to counter their intervention in Iraq, as well as revised equipment requirements.

Doom-sayers will rapidly proclaim that this will break the bank. To this I must counter that, as it stands, we really are doing this war on the cheap. The Iraqi campaign is costing us currently less than 1% of GDP. By contrast, Vietnam cost us 12%, while at the same time, we were putting men on the Moon, building the world’s largest freeway system, and launching The Great Society. WWII cost us 130% of GDP.

As an aside, I might also note something most Vietnam-era vets know: the HUMMWV is not the successor to the Jeep. The M38 “jeep” was replaced by the M151 MUTT, which looks like a slightly wider jeep, but is easily distinguishable by it’s independent suspension.

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