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“The whole armor question could be solved almost immediately if someone would sort out what’s needed and when (like, now for instance?), get the army procurement weenies to get off their butts, and buy what we need. What’s the big deal?”
What’s the big deal? As the economist Thomas Sowell would say, “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.” A thousand pounds of armor added to a vehicle reduces its ability to do its intended mission. A few weeks ago, a soldier refused to drive a supply truck because he felt it did not afford enough protection from enemy fire. We could armor those trucks, too, but that would mean less supplies (read: ammunition) per truck to the troops. Can you imagine the uproar from the media if the troops were not getting enough ammunition?
The “someone to sort out what’s needed” are what the DOD calls “in-service engineering” agencies. These DOD engineers work with the military units who use the equipment, and determine what modifications/upgrades are justified based on many factors involved in the unavoidable trade-offs. I worked for such an agency for the Navy for 30 years. A modification made by a sailor acting on his own was called a “sailor alt” which was strictly prohibited because of the possible degradation of the mission and supportability of the equipment. A soldier doing essentially the same does not have the legal or moral right to make whatever modifications he wants to his equipment at the risk of jeopardizing the rest of the fighting forces. This is what Rumsfeld meant when he said, “You go to war with what you have.”p>Rest assured that some “Army procurement weenies” are “off their butts” determining “what is needed,” because that’s one of the reasons the United States wins wars; it incorporates lessons learned from past wars. br> — Gordon Paravano br> Sedona, Arizona /p>
While Jed Babbin’s contempt for the UN is well-justified, he repeats the longstanding conservative fantasy that, if only we limited the UN to democracies, it would be so much better. Excuse me, but even under the strictest entry terms, wouldn’t we still have to let in France, Germany and Russia? France, in particular, is not lacking in democratic tradition. The French are the way they are for the straightforward reason that they choose to be that way.p>Admittedly, a slimmed-down UN where we no longer have to be lectured by the likes of Fredonia and the Central Leprotic Republic would be a marginal improvement, but is there any real prospect of it accomplishing something useful?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?