This story seems to get dragged out once very six months
Absolutely, and it’s bunk. A 5.56mm round from an M4 will still perforate 1/8” plate steel at 500 meters. if it’ll go through steel plate at that distance, it’ll go through a combatant at that range (most of the combatants encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan do not wear body armor). Is it as potent at a 30-06 or 7.62x51? No, but it’s still carrying the energy and power of a 45 ACP “up close and personal” (like 7 yards). A single shot may not kill your target, but they are going to have a VERY bad day.
The issue isn’t the firepower packed by the soldiers, it’s the insane ROE that limits return fire. If you didn’t see the fire coming from a given individual - even if they have a weapon slung on their shoulder - you cannot return fire. Perfect ROE for the enemy to take a pot shot and go back to goat-herding, unopposed.
The new snipers will be charged with long-distance observation, predominantly, to keep an eye out - well out - for the very situation where a 600m away goat-herder takes a single pot-shot and re-shoulders his weapon before the round strikes or is heard. Having spotters dedicated to extreme range only - and equipped to return accurate fire at that range - is the only thing that has any chance of working with the current ROE.
I would say that you are correct.
But it does give everyone a chance to bash the M16 (and its more modern variants) and its "poodle-shooter" 5.56x39mm round, and to discuss what would be better (bring back the M14, go to a modern rifle which fires the .243 / 6.5mm round, etc.) so it is all good...