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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Not Supporting Our Troops

    Didn't Bush just recently say:Asked about a possible American response to Iranian interference, he said, “We will continue to protect our troops.”

    Not to split hairs here or anything but wouldn't proper ARMOR be a good place to start?

    Not Supporting Our Troops

    How do you explain to the thousands of American troops now being poured into Baghdad that they will have to wait until the summer for the protective armor that could easily mean the difference between life and death?

    It’s bad enough that these soldiers are being asked to risk their lives without President Bush demanding that Iraq’s leaders take any political risks that might give the military mission at least an outside chance of success. But according to an article in The Washington Post this week, at least some of the troops will be sent out in Humvees not yet equipped with FRAG Kit 5 armor. That’s an advanced version designed to reduce deaths from roadside bombs, which now account for about 70 percent of United States casualties in Iraq.

    The more flexible materials used in the FRAG Kit 5 make it particularly helpful in containing the damage done by the especially deadly weapon the Bush administration is now most concerned about: those explosively formed penetrators that Washington accuses Iran of supplying to Shiite militias for use against American troops.

    Older versions of Humvee armor are shattered by these penetrators, showering additional shrapnel in the direction of a Humvee’s occupants. The FRAG Kit 5 helps slow the incoming projectile and contains some of the shrapnel, giving the soldiers a better chance of survival.

    Armor upgrades like this have become a feature of the Iraq war, as the Pentagon struggles to keep up with the constantly more powerful weapons and sophisticated tactics of the various militia and insurgent forces attacking American troops. But the Army, the National Guard and the Marine Corps have been caught constantly behind the curve.

    Unglamorous and relatively inexpensive staples of ground combat, like armor, have never really captured the imagination and attention of military contractors and Pentagon budget-makers the way that “Top Gun” fighter jets, stealthy warships and “Star Wars” missile interceptors generally do.

    The Army says it is now accelerating its production of FRAG Kit 5 armor and handing it out to Baghdad-bound units on a priority basis. But it acknowledges that the armor upgrading project will not be completed until summer. Right now, it’s February, and the new American drive in Baghdad has already begun.

    That’s a shame, if not an outright scandal, because up-to-date armor is essential for saving American lives.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Re: Not Supporting Our Troops

    His definition of support is kick em in the ass, and cheer them on to victory! Just ignore the ones who are wounded, maimed, or dead, they are of no use to us anymore anyhow!! Their volunteers, surely they knew that death was a possibility? War is heck and then you die?

    In fact that seems to be the meaning for support for most of the ones insisting we continue to keep them in harms way, for no other reason than, well we screwed up, and sh!t happens!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Re: Not Supporting Our Troops

    These kids are nothing more than meat for the grinder. Even the "embedded" reporters never leave the Green Zone for fear of their lives and the casualty numbers, vastly understated by the authorities, just like in Vietnam, are increasing exponentially.

    Two quotes from articles I recently read were not only disgusting and disturbing, they made me realize what Bush's policies have cost America.

    "America can’t win here and as the rubber bags filled with rotting meat, America’s maggot-infested youth, stack up awaiting refrigerated shipment to Dover, it can only get worse".

    "Let the Arrogent USA stay in Iraq, Let them stay untill they have not a single soldier left, Only then will they learn".

    What the war mongering right-wing hawks won't be telling America anytime soon.....

    - "According to a study published in October 2006, which was overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University, 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since the war began than would have died had the war not occurred. Indeed, among the 655,000 deaths, it is estimated that 601,000 resulted from violence, while the rest died from disease and other causes.

    - A recent study has found that an average of almost 960 attacks against Americans and Iraqis occur every week in Iraq. As a result, over 3,000 American soldiers have lost their lives and another 29,000 have been injured.

    - roughly 400,000 Iraqi children are suffering from malnutrition as a result of the war. In fact, Iraq’s child malnutrition rate in November 2004 was higher than that of Uganda and Haiti. And according to one report, 60% of rural residents and 20% of urban residents have access only to contaminated water.

    - Army studies have shown that up to 30% of troops deployed to Iraq suffer from depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. More significantly, a recent report found that suicides among American soldiers serving in Iraq doubled from 2004 to 2005.

    Bush and his loathsome supporters simply don't support the troops, they push them down the meat-grinders chute while attempting to divert attention.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Re: Not Supporting Our Troops

    Survivors Praise Body, Vehicle Armor to House Subcommittee
    By Donna Miles
    American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2006 – Three soldiers just back from Iraq -- including two who credit personal and vehicle armor with saving their lives -- traveled to Capitol Hill today to tell Congress that when it comes to protecting troops, more isn't always better.

    Three 3rd Infantry Division soldiers just back from Iraq told Congress it's important to continue developing better body armor, but the equipment already fielded is highly effective. From left are Army Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Wells, Sgt. Anthony ****en, holding the protective plate that saved his life in Iraq, and Brig. Gen. Karl Horst. Photo by Donna Miles (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

    "We're here to say we're pretty happy with what we have," Brig. Gen. Karl Horst, the 3rd Infantry Division's assistant division commander for maneuver, told the American Forces Press Service before appearing at today's House Armed Services Committee's Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee hearing.

    While welcoming improvements in the systems that protect troops and their vehicles, Horst said it's a misconception that it's possible to fully protect U.S. troops. "What we do is an inherently dangerous business," he said. "There are no silver bullets, and there are no protective bubbles that you can put is in."

    Providing better personal and vehicle protection has a "Catch 22" factor, Horst noted. Insurgents will adapt to improved armor by using bigger bullets. And because enhanced equipment is typically heavier and bulkier than what it replaces, it can actually hamper troops' ability to operate in combat, he said.

    "You must have a reasonable expectation about the level of protection you can provide without compromising the mission," Horst said. "There are no absolutes. There is no 100-percent solution. We will continue to work toward 100 percent, but we will never get there, because if you build a bigger (protective) plate, the bad guy figures out that he needs a bigger bullet to penetrate the bigger plate."

    Horst has good reason to be happy with the protection his up-armored Humvee provided when it was hit by a roadside bomb in early January. The blast, which sent quarter-inch ball bearings flying into his windshield and destroyed the M1114 vehicle, never touched the crew compartment. Horst and three crewmembers walked away without a scratch.

    "I am absolutely crediting the protection of the M1114 with saving my life," he said. "Had I not been in an up-armored Humvee, those 24 quarter-inch ball bearings would have come through the windshield like a shotgun blast."

    Army Sgt. Anthony ****en shares Horst's appreciation for the personal protection he wore while deployed to Baghdad with the 3rd ID's C Company, 164th Armor. ****en was standing in the hatch of an M1 Abrams tank making observations during a patrol when a sniper's round hit him in the chest last March, stopped by the small-arms protective inserts in his protective vest.

    "It felt like one of Mark McGwire's home-run baseballs," said ****en said, referring to the now-retired Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinals slugger. He was knocked off his feet and fell into the turret, but suffered only a bruised kidney from the blast. After one night in the hospital, ****en returned to his unit, and he was back on the street conducting patrols within three days of the attack.

    ****en said he has no doubt that his protective vest saved his life, and he said he believes many Americans think U.S. troops don't have the protection they need. "They say that we don't have the right armor, or that we're not getting it fast enough," ****en said. "But if I didn't have it, I probably wouldn't be here. It saved my life."

    Army Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Wells, who's served as both a light-infantry and mechanized soldier in Iraq, said troops are confident in their protective gear because they've seen it tested in combat. "And a soldier going to combat with confidence in his gear can do anything," Wells told the subcommittee.

    Improved systems could be a big benefit for some soldiers, like those who stand in a tower for 12-hour shifts pulling security duties. But for other soldiers, like those who patrol Iraq's streets on foot, where they need to walk and maneuver easily, the added weight and bulkiness of the improved body armor could be detrimental, he said.

    The third-generation body armor the Army is looking at, which at 31 pounds weighs twice as much as the current vest, could actually interfere with soldiers' ability to operate, Wells said. "Let's look at the weight," he said. "And what is this taking away tactically from the soldier in terms of speed and maneuverability that can have an adverse effect?"

    Wells recalled the evolution of body armor, from his first deployment to Iraq when he and many of his fellow soldiers wore protective vests with no SAPI plates, to today's enhanced body armor systems. To reduce troops' vulnerability, front and back protective plates were added to the vests, then slide plates, then shoulder and crotch protections, he said.

    "What happens now, when that's all covered, and soldiers we are losing are getting leg or arm wounds?" he asked. "Are we going to armor those too?"

    Ultimately, some level of risk has to be accepted, Wells said. "This is not an easy job and nobody, including President Bush, has ever said what we are doing is easy or not dangerous," he said. "There is just an acceptable risk that sometimes you have to take."

    Wells also expressed concern that if enhanced equipment is fielded to the battlefield too quickly, some deployed soldiers could find themselves using equipment they've never had an opportunity to properly train with. For example, different body armor can affect the way a soldier holds and fires a weapon, he said. "To be successful, you need to train on the equipment you're using before being in full conflict," Wells said.

    The soldiers agreed that the Army and Defense Department should continue efforts to improve body armor for deployed troops. In doing so, Horst said, it's important to keep two questions in mind: "How much is enough and how much is too much? And what do you need to be able to accomplish your mission?"

    Ideally, he said, units should deploy with a full complement of personal protective gear, and unit leaders and noncommissioned officers should identify the best configuration for their troops, based on their location and mission.

    "What you need is a menu approach to the level of protection that we use, based on the mission you have asked us to accomplish, the enemy that we are operating against, the environment we are operating against and the duration of the mission," Horst said.

    The key to success in Iraq and on the battlefield ultimately boils down to something far beyond protective gear, he said. "It's the synergy of other four things that leads to success: the best-quality soldiers in the world, best-trained soldiers in the world, best equipment in the world and best small-unit leaders in the world," he said.

    Originally posted by Americanadian
    Palin: Omit the "i" and you're left with "Pain".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Not Supporting Our Troops

    OK Frankie, we know the value of the armor. That is not in question. The question is, why must our troops going over now have to wait until July before getting that armor?
    That's 5 months away.

    What do they do to protect themselves until then? And what is our government doing to ensure their safety? Sending more men and women over to replace casualties is not exactly the smartest move on the planet.

    Lady Mod

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