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View Diary: What's So Hard About This? (176 comments)

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  •  A precieved threat to moral (6+ / 0-)

    They should use both of them!

    thats fine but then who do you tell that the . . . other troops are getting the best stuff and you are getting second best?

    I think that is the answer to Mr. Blades question here.  It (like don't-ask-don't-tell) is based on a perceived possible problem with moral.  I am sure that a lot of officers at first resisted the idea of giving line GIs body armor in the first place because every time they put it on they would think of all the places that it did not protect them.

    Well in the end the evidence was just too strong and they started to issue one kind of armor and now have a massive investment in it and have factories and contracts running for that armor. 

    Now it looks like there might be a better kind but if they start to order and issue that then they fear that they will start to have all sorts of problems.  Every time someone is killed or wounded the speculation will be on whether they would have been saved if they had the "good" armor like those guys over in that other unit.

    That is why the military is not willing to look at this like some sort of scientific materials testing question. There is something special about body armor -- it is so close to one, and the consequences of its failure are so personal -- I can see why many officers would resist trying to introduce a second model in the middle of combat.

    •  the same mentality was used by the brass in WWI (6+ / 0-)

      To require troops advancing over No Man's Land to advance in orderly lines, at a walk, with a full pack. The idea was to unnerve the enemy with the calm willingness to take casualties. The problem arose when the machinegunners did not lose their nerve.
      Or during WWII, particularly in the Pacific, the first rules of engagement in dealing with a sniper was to first identify the site of the sniper, to work around for a clear shot and then to take out the sniper with as few shots as possible to conserve ordnance.
      Experience soon taught the GIs to lay down suppressing fire to keep the sniper's head down and to have either part of the stream of bullets or ricchochets to either kill or wound the sniper. In other words, use the ammo and conserve your buddies.
      The brass always seems to be fighting either the last war or else in the previous century.  

      •  Or worse... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fred in Vermont

        conserving material at the expense of humans...

        The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

        by kmiddle on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 07:12:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  morale in WWII (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sphealey

        I think there are closer analogues to the current issue. Quite a large number of weapons in WWII, esp. at the outset, were known to be inadequate or downright defective. We had fighter planes that were so slow they were practically sitting ducks in the Pacific. Some of our torpedos didn't run true, or even had the nasty habit of turning in a circle and blowing up our people. Guns that jammed as soon as you started firing them.

        From the largest to the smallest weapons systems, there were colossal problems. Compared to our enemies, our weapons were crappy.

        The military was extremely slow to replace these weapons or even warn the troops agains their obvious defects. The reason? Morale.

        Part of the solution involved congressional hearings. Harry Truman's contributions in this area are justly famous.

        Congress has got to set a fire under the Pentagon's ass. And while they're at it, they should get on the military's case regarding the boondoggle JIEDDO program, which still hasn't come close to finding a solution to IEDs.

    •  I don't know jack about how the military (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, moose67

      works, but it seems to me the fundamental problem is that someone high up in the Pentagon is making money off the inferior armor.  At least that is what OHs diaries have led me to believe.
      I find it hard to believe that officers in the field wouldn't want soldiers under their command to have the best chance of living to fight another day, especially considering how short-staffed they are already.
      I really think this is a top-down issue.

      The media are only as liberal as the conservative businesses that own them.

      by MTgirl on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 07:15:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When the military brass (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fla1sun

        become just another political faction, the rank and file lose out. It is treasonous. And if Congress doesn't have the clout to do anything about it, then we really have lost whatever checks and balances we have in the government. It's just too FUBAR.

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