American Automobile Fuel Consumption Debate


« Rumsfeld's Rules | Main | Becker and Posner on Climate Change »



You turning British on us, Adam? Armour vs. armor?

This is yet another reason why I hate Rumsfeld. Here are some of my thoughts on the issue:
1. Soldiers scavenging for metal to use as armor is far from optimal. From what I understand, certain types of metal (brittle ones maybe?) may be worse in certain situations and send more shrapnel, albeit maybe lower velocity, when impacted and pierced from a roadside bomb. Properly monitored upgrades should catch this, though.
2. Adding armor to the non-armored versions is a balancing act. You improve protection from bombs and bullets but you lose speed and maneuverability, decrease the amount of cargo you can safely carry, and wear out the shocks, brakes, and other mechanical parts much quicker, requiring more convoys carrying supply parts and further increasing funds spent. That said, I'd still would have rather had some armor on my Humvee. Take the money out of National Missile Defense, the F-22, or any number of less critical but technologically gee-whiz programs.
3. Also from what I understand is that the military has plenty of the old M113 APCs lying around in storage in Kuwait and the US. These would probably provide better protection than even the uparmored Humvee. The downsides are the lower speeds of the APC, the need to train soldiers how to use and maintain them, and the need to establish greater spare parts inventories.
4. The situation for cargo truck armor is much worse than for the Humvee. I felt sorry for truckers when I was over there.
5. I read today that 30% of cargo in Iraq is bottled water, according to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Jumper. Hey, I liked my bottled water as much as the next guy but if going to water purified by local units can reduce the amount of stuff needing to be hauled around Iraq, drinking out of a canteen for a year is tolerable.

The comments to this entry are closed.