The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Saturday, January 14, 2006

NYT throws out a bone of truth in the body armor broohaha

The New York Times has sprung a leak by allowing an OP-ED to creep in that sheds the light of truth on the body armor issue. Although, you can only read page 1 of 8 for free. The rest you must be a paid subscriber and I am not taking that one for the team. Recently there was a report showing deaths that could have been prevented by body armor. Of course, the liberals jumped on this with both feet, including Hillary Clinton, and criticized the military for not having enough body armor for the troops. Some would leap before they looked into the facts while others would know the facts, but looked to advance a lie knowing the correction is tough to achieve after the fact.

The bottom line is, that if the armor were available in quantities 10 times more than needed, yet the soldiers wore none that report would have read the same way: the soldier's deaths could have been prevented by body armor.

The NYT article written by Andrew Exum who provides his credentials as follows:
"From 2000 until 2004, I was an infantry officer in the Army. I deployed with a light-infantry platoon to Afghanistan in 2002, then with a platoon of Army Rangers to Iraq in 2003 and back to Afghanistan in 2004."
He then gives a vivid picture of the difficulties wearing armor for the soldier in Iraq:
'But in Iraq, as well, the "soldier's load" is often unbearable. Most studies recommend that a soldier should not be burdened with more than one-third of his body weight. But if you take a 160-pound soldier and put 40 pounds of Kevlar and body armor on him and then he picks up an automatic weapon, ammunition, water and first aid equipment, it's not long before he is carrying half his body weight - and he is then expected to run, jump and fight insurgents, themselves carrying little more than a 10-pound AK-47. All of this, of course, often takes place in 120-degree heat in the cities of Iraq.'
He points out that a new design unveiled this week doubles the weight of an upper portion from 16 to 32 pounds. While it is easy to look at a battle wound and state if armor had been in that spot the soldier would not have been hit. It is not as easy to determine the effects of reduced mobility. The fact is that a soldier can die from both: too weighed down to move quickly so he was shot in a spot that does not have armor. There is a section next I tried to take smaller exerpts from, but too much is lost so the following shows how soldiers feel about the armor:
' As an Army captain told The A.P.: "You've got to sacrifice some protection for mobility. If you cover your entire body in ceramic plates, you're just not going to be able to move."

Thankfully, many military leaders at both the tactical and strategic levels recognize they must strike a balance between protecting soldiers and preserving their mobility and fighting abilities. At some point, the public's desire to wrap ourtroops in a protective blanket of armor just gets ridiculous.

"We don't want a medieval knight," Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Speakes, the director of force development for the Army, said this week. "We are not going to be hoisted onto a horse." '

The article points to the time a reporter set up a soldier to ask Don Rumsfeld about having to use scrap metal for combat vehicles. Liberals fail to recognize that the Pentagon is also a government beauracracy. Though run more effeciently than most others in the government, it is what it is. The ball was dropped at that time and that situation was later corrected. Some liberals are dishinestly trying to combine that issue with this. In this case there are times where a commander of the soldier themself determines that mobility is more important than more armor.

Liberals do not view these issues through the prism of historical context of previous wars. Instead, they only view it from the perspective of "sticking it to Bush if at all possible". This is a free country and they are free to do so. They must realize that they don't have the right to be believed when they pursue an agenda rather than truth.


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