Sunday, April 06, 2008

"We were being ordered to hastily invade a country with too few troops and too little equipment."

Brandon Friedman has a great post up titled "I was Invading Iraq Five Years Ago (w/ photos)." He describes the equipment our troops had (or didn't have) when we invaded Iraq.

By now I hope y'all are familiar with the issue of up-armored humvees with the kind of reinforcement that can offer better protection to the troops inside. And how soldiers were taking scrap metal to create their own protection because better protection had not been planned for, or budgeted for, or scheduled for production, or shipped, or even ordered. There were all kinds of reasons and, as Rummy said, "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you wished you had." (That's from memory, might not be an exact quote but I know it's not inaccurate on content.)

You can see the vinyl door on the vehicle in the photo above. That is the sort of protection our troops had as they rushed into Iraq. Flak jackets had front plates but most lacked back plates, so never turn your back in the direction from which a bullet might come (and good luck with that in urban environments).

They had suits for chemical and biological agents. As Brandon put it:
In the end, the irony is that we were well-protected against yellow cake from Niger, aluminum tubes, and anthrax missiles, but not 18-year-olds with AK-47s.
Brandon's conclusion:
Most of these problems were addressed in Iraq by 2004, however. So the purpose here isn’t to simply complain about being under-resourced. The point is to show that Americans have died in Iraq because the Bush administration was hell-bent on rushing to war against the better judgment of those who knew. And people shouldn't have to die because someone is in a hurry to start an unnecessary war.

Unfortunately, this is what you get when you elect people like George W. Bush and his neo-conservative friends into office. And this is what you'll get with a McCain administration.
[Emphasis mine]

Read it all here.

--the BB

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