[FoRK] Mr. Rogers Neighbourhood

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Sat May 1 18:48:49 PDT 2004

You don't remember Aspin's decision in Somalia
about tanks do you? Don't you love how things come around? 

  Defense Secretary Les Aspin and his deputies rejected sending needed tanks and armored vehicles to Somalia because they feared a political backlash would undermine their pro-United Nations policy, says a Senate Armed Services Committee report.

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: fork-bounces at xent.com on behalf of Owen Byrne 
	Sent: Fri 4/30/2004 8:16 PM 
	To: fork at xent.com 
	Subject: [FoRK] Mr. Rogers Neighbourhood

	Hey Mr. Special Forces/In The Know
	The current scramble to get more TANKS to Iraq doesn't seem to fit your
	previously advanced views on
	modern combat. Whats up with that?
	*U.S. rushes more tanks to Iraq*
	Thu 29 April, 2004 01:20
	By Will Dunham
	WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has rushed more tanks and other
	armoured vehicles to Iraq in response to requests from commanders
	grappling with a worsening security situation, a top American general says.
	The move to fortify U.S. forces with armour like the M1A1 Abrams tank
	and Bradley Fighting Vehicle reverses a decision made just months ago
	that less heavy armour would be needed for troops rotating into Iraq in
	the first half of 2004 amid hopes for an improving security environment.
	Marine Corps Major General John Sattler, U.S. Central Command's director
	of operations, told reporters at the Pentagon from Qatar on Wednesday
	that some additional tanks and armoured personnel carriers already had
	arrived in Iraq and more were headed there.
	Sattler said the armour was requested by Marine Corps and Army units
	trying to quell unrest in the so-called Sunni Triangle area that has
	been a hotbed of resistance to the American-led occupation of Iraq.
	The requests were made by the commanders of the Marines engaged in the
	flash-point city of Falluja and other areas west of Baghdad and the
	Army's First Infantry Division, operating out of Tikrit, Sattler said.
	A U.S. defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "a
	couple dozen" Abrams tanks were sent from Germany to the First Infantry
	Division in Iraq, and the Marines were getting probably a similar number
	of additional tanks.
	The official did not give the number of Bradleys or other armoured
	vehicles involved.
	Violence has flared dramatically this spring -- a year after a U.S.-led
	invasion toppled President Saddam Hussein -- and April has been the
	deadliest month of the war for American troops. The Pentagon said at
	least 124 U.S. troops have been killed this month, and 724 killed in the
	13 months of hostilities in Iraq.
	Sattler sought to explain the reasoning behind deploying units to Iraq
	while leaving some of their armour behind.
	"As the security environment was moving in a very positive direction,
	the need for tanks and tractored vehicles was overshadowed by the need
	for wheeled vehicles and warriors on the ground," Sattler said.
	"Counter-insurgency requires you ... to actually engage and work with
	the population. And that's tough to do from inside a tank or a Bradley
	or an armoured personnel carrier," he added.
	But Sattler said the "when they got here and the security environment
	changed" commanders requested more heavy armour. Sattler did not specify
	the number of additional vehicles being delivered to the commanders.
	Iraqi insurgents have staged regular attacks on U.S. military vehicles
	and convoys using rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs, some of
	which have been powerful enough to topple tanks. Many of the U.S.
	casualties in Iraq have come in attacks on standard Humvees or
	armour-reinforced Humvees.
	General Larry Ellis, head of Army Forces Command, recently wrote a memo
	to the Army's top general saying the "Up-Armoured" Humvee, or
	High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, was not sufficiently
	protecting troops in attacks. He urged that more of the Stryker, the
	Army's new armoured vehicle now being used by U.S. forces in parts of
	northern Iraq, be sent to Iraq.
	Ellis said in a statement on Wednesday his memo, leaked to journalists,
	"has been misconstrued."
	"The Up-armoured HMMWV has saved lives and prevented injury on numerous
	occasions and continues to be the best, immediately available solution
	to the challenges of the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan," Ellis said.
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