29 September 2009

MRAP Madness

Today's NY Daily News includes an article entitled "Soldiers Rap on MRAP", which documents many of the concerns some troops have regarding the off-road capabilities of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP.

We've covered this before in a previous post, which was inspired by an article in Small Wars Journal during which a Marine sergeant quipped that the MRAP was a behemoth of a vehicle which was only capable of driving on the paved road of Iraq--oddly enough, right where the enemy would put improvised explosive devices. The desire for force protection, once again, severely limits the mobility of American forces in Afghanistan--a crucial component of any military strategy. As the 10th Mountain Division Soldiers (from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team...my drinking buddies) note--it's no good to simply slap more armour on the vehicle when the enemy simply learns to make bigger bombs.

We've also brought up alternative means of transportation around the battlefields of Afghanistan (this article actually made the Early Bird--my how the military's standards have dropped ;) ), but it's worth repeating--is there a happy median between protection and maneuver?

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