Skip to comments.Rumsfeld faces tough questions from troops
Posted on 12/08/2004 6:26:38 AM PST by repinwi
Defense chief speaks to soldiers heading to Iraq.
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (AP) -- After delivering a pep talk designed to energize troops preparing to head for Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld got a little "talking to" himself from disgruntled soldiers.
In his prepared remarks, Rumsfeld urged the troops -- mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers -- to discount critics of the war in Iraq and to help "win the test of wills" with the insurgents.
Some of soldiers, however, had criticisms of their own -- not of the war itself but of how it is being fought.
Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly three years after the war in Iraq.
"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.
Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question........
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
I notice that Rumsfeld didn't bother to answer the question.
And, the defense chief added, armor is not always a savior in the kind of combat U.S. troops face in Iraq, where the insurgents' weapon of choice is the roadside bomb, or improvised explosive device.
"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up," Rumsfeld said.
I don't blame these soldiers. These soldiers deserve all the protection we can offer them, PERIOD. These men are willing to give their lives, but want to come home and see their familes. God Bless the troops
BS answer from the SECDEF--nothing is "always" a savior but I guarantee the boots on the ground would rather have it than not. I bet his vehicle is sporting some of that "not always a savior" armor. Rummy, Our troops deserve better!
I was watching a show on the History Channel about the Sherman tank. They showed the troops putting whatever they could find to beef up the armor. The Tiger tanks were taking the Shermans to task.
I whole heartedly agree with you.
these "civilians in uniform" had best learn discipline very quickly if they want to survive in a war zone.
If they continue to act like they are in the USAF, they will die.
ps - my reference in this case to the USAF is due to the OFFICIAL view of the USAF that war is NOT to close in and destroy your enemy --- they take a much more PC view. Unfortunately, a grunt cannot be PC and stay alive.
Maybe if this guy was more interested in killing the enemy, rather than his vehicle, this would not be a problem. No amount of Armor will stop a committed terrorist. He's living in a world of movies, not reality.
Unfortunately, this article was brought to my attention from none other than a liberal on my local message board. Who delights in the doom and gloom of the war.
That response was an insult to the men he's sending North without proper equipment. They're not asking for 'all the armor in the world', they just want enough on their vehicles to improve their chances of surviving their tour. We can crank out hundreds of thousands of SUVs each year, tens of thousands of Hummers for the civilian market, why hasn't Rumsfeld's Pentagon made it a priority to provide enough protected Humvees for the troops? Outsource the manufacture of the protective armor kits, award contracts to manufacturers who can do it better or faster, this has been a known issue for well over a year. The way that Rumsfeld dismissed the question demonstrates a lack of concern on his part.
News to me, but I've only got 21 years in...
As for these troops - wanting decent equipment, particularly several YEARS after the fight started, is not unreasonable.
The liberals (and CNN - is that redundant?) hate Rummy.
Welcome to FR, vvv....we got a million of 'em around here.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.