Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"Our troops go to war with the Army that our nation's leaders provide."

Could there be some political fallout from Rumsfeld's flippant response to a soldier's question about inadequate body armor? There could be, if more Democrats follow the lead of Chris Dodd. (background: The soldier complained about having to dig through landfills for scrap metal to reinforce his vehicle, to which Rumsfeld replied, "You go to war with the Army you have.")

  • Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) has written a letter to Rumsfeld calling his response "utterly unacceptable" and saying that it is the government's responsibility to provide safe equipment for soldiers in battle. He said, "Our troops go to war with the Army that our nation's leaders provide." (emphasis mine)
  • Military analysts say that the harsh questions to Rumsfeld are a sign of growing frustration and dropping morale among the troops in the field according to a report in the Kansas City Star. This report also points out that the soldier who asked the question, Spc. Thomas Wilson, voted for Bush in November.
  • The Seattle-Post Intelligencer applauds Wilson's question, saying he should be awarded a medal for staring down Don Rumsfeld. They go on to criticize Rumsfeld for championing the war-on-the-cheap approach that may lead to a "battlefield victory against a far weaker adversary but has left our forces unprepared and unequipped to maintain the peace."
  • NPR has a report on the exchange and on the issue of armored vehicles.
  • WVLT Channel 8 in Knoxville Tennessee, home of the unit Wilson belongs to (the 278th Regimental Combat Team), has some comments from a wife of another member of that unit. She considers Wilson's question to be legitimate even though he own husband wouldn't complain about lack of protection.

There are over 986 Google News hits on this story.


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