Here's an interview with one soldier, a medical Corpsman freshly returned from Iraq, giving his perspective regarding how things are going and will continue to go in Iraq near-term. It's a fascinating interview -- here's a small part:
"To what extent do you feel that U.S. soldiers in Iraq have the proper equipment for what they face there?
We were supposed to have bulletproof vests, where we actually put the plates inside our flak jackets. We never got those. The money had been paid for those things, but we never got them. My brother had to send me a flak jacket. There's all sorts of stuff that we had to buy on our own before we left. The types of canteens you need, water pouches that go on your back.
These were not provided, or not sufficiently?
Right. We were given canteens that you hold on your side, but the kind that hold a lot of water, you need them, too. It can get unbelievably hot over there and you need to drink a lot of water. Also, the pack doesn't work.
What's wrong with it?
It's top-heavy. All the weight sits above head level. It doesn't work. The weight should be set in the middle of your back, not above your neck. So you had to go out and buy another pack.
Why on earth didn't someone figure this out beforehand?
The military buys stuff from the cheapest dealer. We had to go out and buy boots. Not that the military boots are that bad, but they're not the greatest boots in the world for what you're going to be doing. And when you're going to spend hours and hours and hours in a pair of boots, you want something that's comfortable. So you have to go out and buy your own boots. To buy all of these things, of course, assumes that you or your family can afford to buy them, and a lot of recruits come from poor families.
Hot on the heels of the Bush campaign's ad blitz indicting Kerry for voting against the massive Iraq appropriation, here's more evidence of the many many soldiers who are underequipped for the daily realities of Iraq (where did all that money go?)
There's also an interesting revelation about the soldiers who participated in the Thanksgiving Day propaganda with the Prez., plus much more. Very interesting little interview.