Comments: Late breaking peeves

It's a good thing that UsofA soldiers are buying their own armor. No one else is buying them any

Ummm, you do realize this is factually untrue, right? The Army is purchasing body armor in wholesale lots, now that the funding is available. This is just another example of what happens in peacetime: the Army had to decide what to spend its dollars on, and it chose not to buy body armor. A bad choice in retrospect, but do you have any suggestions for what they shouldn't have paid for instead?

Posted by Andrew at March 26, 2004 05:57 PM

"Peacetime." Hmm. Peacekeeping Times, is more like it. US troops have been involved in nearly continuous interventions for some time now, operations in which small arms fire is usually the primary issue. Seems to me that they could have cancelled the "supertank" a few years earlier, or perhaps the "joint strike fighter" which will replace about three really well designed task-oriented aircraft with one compromise kluge.

It's just too easy....

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at March 27, 2004 11:52 PM

among the manymanymany things the Pentagon should have passed up on its way to the body armour superstore, are cluster bombs and landmines.

Posted by pericat at March 28, 2004 10:03 AM

Sorry, Andrew, but I'm with Jonathan on this one. Based on the kind of "combat" our troops have been most involved in over the last fifteen years, I would have elected body army over any number of overly ambitious, doomed projects.

But don't misunderstand me on this. I'm not faulting the military. I know that the money they get can sometimes be tied up, earmarked for certain (porkbarrel) projects, leaving them short of funds for the less-sexy but more important fundamentals. The DoD gets billions and billions of dollars every year, but many times their hands are tied over how they can spend the money.

Nor am I against research. Exactly. I mean, I wish one of our main contributions to the modern world wasn't an ever-increasing variety of ways to kill each other. At the same time, I'm not unaware of the significant civilian side benefits that some of these projects produce.

It's a dilemma for me, but I always go back to the idea that the soldier on the front line really should be the first consideration.

Posted by Anne at March 29, 2004 08:41 AM