US troops abandon tanks

The effectiveness of EFP’s against armored US vehicles in Iraq has led to the unthinkable. What were once regarded as the most formidable battlefield vehicles have become mobile coffins.

U.S. troops working the streets of the capital fear one Iraqi weapon more than others — a copper-plated explosive that can penetrate armor and has proved devastating to Humvees and even capable of severely damaging tanks.

The power of what the military calls an EFP — for explosively formed penetrator, or projectile — to spray molten metal balls that punch through the armor on vehicles has some American troops rethinking their tactics. They are asking whether the U.S. should give up its reliance on making constant improvements to vehicle defenses.

Instead, these troops think, it is time to leave the armor behind — and get out and walk.

One staff seargant didn’t mince words.

“I would rather go out without any armor or gear,” he said. “If an EFP hits the vehicle, you are dead anyway no matter how much armor you have. It can take out an Abrams tank; these 1114 [armored Humvees] are nothing.”

Welcome to 4th generation warfare.

Expect that General Dynamics Land Systems (makers of the Abrahams Tank) , United Defense Industries (makers of the Bradley) and AM General (makers of he Humvee) to be putting the squeeze on the Pentagon to order the troops back into their vehicles. Who do these U.S. troops think they are anyway? Don’t they realize the havoc this kind of publicity is wreaking havoc with shareholders?

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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