Sacrificed for the Vanity War

From Holden:

The fourteen Marines that died in Iraq yesterday were sent to their deaths in the wrong vehicle.

The Marines killed Wednesday in Iraq were patrolling desert terrain in a vehicle better suited for those famous Marine Corps beach landings, experts said.

The amphibious assault vehicle — the Marine Corps’ signature transport — is designed to carry troops in water operations from ship to shore, then operate on the beach and inland.

“You could certainly question whether an amphibious vehicle is the most appropriate … to be driving around in a desert,” said John Pike, defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, a private think tank.

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[I]ts biggest drawback in Iraq, analysts said, is that because it must be able to stay afloat, its armor plating is lighter than that in heavier vehicles used by the Army.

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“It was not designed primarily to drive around in the desert hundreds of miles from the beach,” Pike said. “If they had been riding in an Abrams (tank), this probably wouldn’t have happened, but there’s not enough Abrams to go around.”