A very cool thing. . .
So, in keeping with my seemingly endless capacity for self-promotion, I thought I'd share a link to a great piece of blogging that happens to bear my monicker.
As told by ALa71 of Blonde Sagacity
Merry Christmas, ALa!
"First, according to reports, the unit in question had 784 of its 804 vehicles up-armored. Humvees are transportation and support assets that traditionally have never been so protected. That the fluid lines in Iraq are different not just from those in World War II or Korea, but even Vietnam, Gulf War I, Mogadishu, and Afghanistan became clear only over months. Yet it also in fact explains why we are seeing 80 to 90 percent of these neo-Jeeps already retrofitted. In an army replete with Bradleys and Abramses, no one could have known before Iraq that Hummers would need to become armored vehicles as well. Nevertheless all of them will be in a fleet of many thousands in less than 18 months. Would that World War II Sherman tanks after three years in the field had enough armor to stop a single Panzerfaust: At war's end German teenagers with cheap proto-RPGs were still incinerating Americans in their 'Ronson Lighters.'"
" Rumsfeld has made several visits to troops in the region, most recently two weeks ago to a forward base in Kuwait. There, a handful of soldiers openly challenged him about inadequate equipment and long deployments. Rumsfeld cut off their complaints by saying, 'You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have.'"
"Specialist Wilson asked, 'Yes, Mr. Secretary. My question is more logistical. We’ve had troops in Iraq for coming up on three years and we’ve always staged here out of Kuwait. Now why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromise ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles and why don’t we have those resources readily available to us?' [Applause]
Rumsfeld replied, 'I talked to the General coming out here about the pace at which the vehicles are being armored. They have been brought from all over the world, wherever they’re not needed, to a place here where they are needed. I’m told that they are being – the Army is – I think it’s something like 400 a month are being done. And it’s essentially a matter of physics. It isn’t a matter of money. It isn’t a matter on the part of the Army of desire. It’s a matter of production and capability of doing it.
As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. Since the Iraq conflict began, the Army has been pressing ahead to produce the armor necessary at a rate that they believe – it’s a greatly expanded rate from what existed previously, but a rate that they believe is the rate that is all that can be accomplished at this moment.
I can assure you that General Schoomaker and the leadership in the Army and certainly General Whitcomb are sensitive to the fact that not every vehicle has the degree of armor that would be desirable for it to have, but that they’re working at it at a good clip. It’s interesting, I’ve talked a great deal about this with a team of people who’ve been working on it hard at the Pentagon. And if you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored humvee and it can be blown up. And you can go down and, the vehicle, the goal we have is to have as many of those vehicles as is humanly possible with the appropriate level of armor available for the troops. And that is what the Army has been working on.
And General Whitcomb, is there anything you’d want to add to that?'"
"Ritter's latest "contribution" to the debate over Iraq is an article for the Al Jazeera website warning that "the United States cannot win" in Iraq. Ritter, now identified as "an independent consultant," has a checkered past that includes a second marriage to a young woman from the Republic of Georgia, who had served Ritter as a Russian-supplied "escort" and translator; being caught in an Internet sex sting by law enforcement; and the acceptance of $400,000 from an Iraqi-born American businessman, Shakir Alkafajii, to produce an anti-American film about Iraq. Alkafajii has since been exposed for having taken oil vouchers from Saddam as part of the corrupt U.N.-run oil-for-food program."
"Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Speakes and Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, senior members of the Army's combat systems development and acquisition team at the Pentagon, said protective armor plates were added to the last 20 vehicles of the Tennessee-based 278th Regimental Combat Team's 830 vehicles shortly after the confrontation with Rumsfeld.
The generals said it was part of routine, pre-deployment preparations in Kuwait before the unit proceeded into Iraq.
'When the question was asked, 20 vehicles remained to be up-armored at that point,' Speakes told a Pentagon briefing. 'We completed those 20 vehicles in the next day....In other words, we completed all the armoring within 24 hours of the time the question was asked.'"
" Rumsfeld has thick skin and a reservoir of considerable political and intellectual support among the president's base. He also, it should be remembered, has enough money to be doing just about anything he wanted to do in private life. Instead, at an age when many of his contemporaries are sitting on the lanai, enjoying the balmy afternoon breezes on Florida's Atlantic Coast, Rumsfeld has agreed to remain in what may be the third- or fourth-toughest job in the U.S. government.
It will take a lot more than some Capitol Hill crankiness to dislodge him from his post."
" Transforming our military into a logical structure that can defeat the enemies we will actually face in the 21st century has infuriated the legions of politicians, generals, defense contractors, lobbyists and journalists who have encrusted themselves around the magnificent weapons and methods of bygone days.
Rumsfeld didn't even schmooze the senators. He let his logic do the talking. After many similar incidents, he is now accused of having bad relations and few friends on Capital Hill. If the Pentagon had any more friends there, our fleets would still be powered by canvas and wind — in deference to the illogic of special interests and old sentiments."
"Sometimes Monday Morning Quarterbacks are correct and sometimes they are not. However, the fact is they are Monday morning. What they say is purely an opinion without consequence. They do not have to worry about the team.
It is easy to be a critic. Critics have the luxury of not having to experience the consequences of their choices. They have the luxury of not being responsible for the lives of other people. They have the luxury of not being responsible for the continuation of an enterprise.
This does not mean their criticism should not be considered. However, when such criticism is motivated by purely selfish political reasons then it is not cedible. Such criticism is unconscionable. The critics are unscrupulous."