Astounding. Nearly two years after the illegal invasion, with Georgie’s count of dead American soldiers kissing up against 1500, Gen. John Abizaid says that the Pentagon is not taking the threat of IEDs seriously.
The Pentagon (news – web sites) is not trying hard enough to defeat the makeshift roadside bombs that are the leading killer of U.S. troops in Iraq (news – web sites), the commander of American forces in the Middle East said Tuesday.
Army Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee (news – web sites) he was satisfied that the right people, with sufficient funds, were working on the problem.
“But I’m not satisfied that we have come up with the solutions that we could if we really rolled up our sleeves and looked at it the way it needs to be looked at,” Abizaid said. That statement was the most direct public challenge to the Pentagon’s approach to this deadly problem.
Meanwhile, roadside bombs are getting deadlier…
In the first two months of this year, roadside bombs accounted for 56 percent of all battle deaths. In the final four months of 2004 they accounted for 19 percent, according to Pentagon figures.
IEDs have tended to be larger and more powerful — designed to kill larger numbers in a single explosion. On Feb. 25, for example, an IED attack in Tarmiya killed three U.S. soldiers and wounded nine. Another on Jan. 5 killed seven soldiers and destroyed their armored infantry carrier.
Gen. Michael Hagee, commandant of the Marine Corps, told reporters last week that a fully armored Humvee recently was “ripped apart, just torn apart” by an IED made from three linked 155 mm shells.
And Our Troops are left to protect themselves using designs developed for a very bad situation comedy from the 1960s.
Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday that all U.S. military vehicles in Iraq will be outfitted with the best armor by summer. Until then some will rely on the less effective add-on armor, which some soldiers have dubbed “hillbilly armor” because it is an improvised solution.
“The way it’s been described makes it sound like the Beverly Hillbillies, which it’s not,” Pace said. It has provided a degree of extra protection against IEDs and small arms fire.
Let’s bring Our Troops home, I don’t think any Iraqi IED is powerfull enough to harm them in the U.S. They can still work out some method to defeat these bombs once they return, but without using human beings as their test dummies.