Analysis Warns Of Problems In Rushing Vehicles To Iraq

October 18th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Analysis Warns Of Problems In Rushing Vehicles To Iraq

USA Today
October 18, 2007
Pg. 10
By Tom Vanden Brook, USA Today
WASHINGTON Fielding thousands of new armored vehicles might hinder the military's counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and could result in more U.S. casualties, according to a report released Wednesday by a non-partisan think tank.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments study concludes that policymakers should consider the potential downside of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles before rushing them to Iraq. The Pentagon has orders for 6,500 of the vehicles and wants to acquire 15,000 in 2008. The troop-carrying version of the MRAP costs $500,000-$600,000; installing electronic and other equipment can add $250,000 to the cost.
The vehicle's raised, V-shaped chassis helps disperse the blast from the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that account for 60% of U.S. combat deaths. They're better than Humvees in withstanding blasts from buried bombs, according to the Marine Corps.
"Simple solutions to complex problems are inherently attractive and almost always wrong," said Andrew Krepinevich, the center's president. "Prior to making such a substantial commitment to this program, Congress, the Department of Defense and senior military service leaders should carefully consider the array of issues raised in this report."
The report says troops traveling in heavily armored vehicles may be less likely to establish close relationships with local populations. Those relationships are needed to provide tips on insurgents and where bombs may be buried.
Krepinevich and co-author Dakota Wood questioned whether MRAPs would be an expensive, disposable vehicle a "million-dollar Kleenex" whose use would be confined to Iraq.
MRAPs also guzzle gas, the report said. They have half the fuel economy of the vehicles they would replace, the Humvees. Greater demand for fuel requires more tanker convoys on the roads.
"Will we provide the enemy with more targets for their IEDs?" Krepinevich said.
A panel of retired and active-duty officers at a conference in the Capitol where the report was released said the IED threats in Iraq and in future conflicts demand MRAPs.
Fighting enemies in urban areas using IEDs requires U.S. troops to "absorb the first shot" before they can begin counterinsurgency operations, said retired Marine lieutenant general Wallace Gregson. MRAPs allow troops providing road and convoy security and conducting combat operations to travel more safely, he said.
Marine Col. Lawrence Nicholson, who recently returned from commanding troops in Iraq, said he had "no concern" that using MRAPs would harm counterinsurgency operations.
The threat to U.S. troops from IEDs will endure, he said, ensuring that MRAPs will "be around for a while. The IED is not going to go away. That toothpaste is out of the tube."
October 21st, 2007  
Sounds like a load of bull to me, any thing that might help keep the troops safe must be worth the effort, I wonder what they travel in when they are in Iraq that is if they ever go there
October 21st, 2007  
Gas gusler - are you kidding me? I don't give a rat's a** if that beast gets 2 miles to the gallon - if it saves soldier's lives, get that beast over there now, better yet - yesterday!
October 22nd, 2007  
A Can of Man
This thing is way overdue.

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