Wednesday, January 23, 2008

MRAPs in Transition

The official Pentagon response to yesterday's MRAP death has been both expected and informative:

[Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff] Morrell told reporters that commanders on the ground estimate the three survivors might not have escaped life-threatening injuries in a less-protected vehicle.

“I think what’s remarkable about the attack is the fact that the crew compartment, despite how large the bomb was, was not compromised by the IED, and that the three crew members inside walked away with, I believe, cuts and broken bones in their feet,” he said. “I think everybody is still amazed that the fact that, despite the size of this bomb, these vehicles are proven to be every bit as strong and as life-saving as we hoped they would be.”

That's putting quite the silver lining on this issue. It also implies that the death occurred in the truck's cab, to either the driver or someone sitting in the passenger seat.

Regardless, the Armchair Generalist puts things a little more bluntly:

Anyone who still has the fantasy that the MRAPs were a ticket to riding out the violence in Iraq had better wake up. This potential $20 billion investment by the US government is going to be defeated by less than a million dollars worth of fertilizer, explosives, and pressure plates. This isn't the solution for general movement on the battlefield.

[He goes on to cite an interesting article in Armed Forces Journal, well worth a read.]

MORE: Check out Germany's answer to the MRAP.

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