DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN: THE KEVLAR COFFIN DEBATE

The Stryker armored vehicle a “Kevlar coffin”?

 

The Washington Times has an article today in which U.S. troops raise concerns about Strykers now in use in Afghanistan.

 

Soldiers call the Strykers “Kevlar coffins,” Staff Sgt. Daniel Paul Rabidou told the Washington Times.

 

More from the Times:

 

“ “Since they arrived at the outpost on Sept. 13, the Blackwatch unit – Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, with the 5th Stryker Brigade – had lost three soldiers and two civil affairs officers. IEDs had destroyed three of their four Stryker vehicles. Overall, 21 of 350 Strykers have been destroyed since the 5th Brigade deployed in southern Afghanistan in July; more than two dozen Americans have been killed and nearly 70 wounded.”

 

The Stryker is “essentially a paramilitary police vehicle,” said retired Army Col. Doug Macgregor, a specialist on tank warfare. “It’s designed to transfer American light infantry down a road,” not to fight an elusive enemy in treacherous terrain.

 

Col. Macgregor said the U.S. Army would do better to follow the example of Canada, which has bought German Leopard II tanks for use by ground forces in Afghanistan. “What you need in Afghanistan is tracked armor, off-the-road capability and a stable platform for large-caliber guns,” he said.

 

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said U.S. officials are “well aware of the fact that the Stryker brigade out of Fort Lewis [Wa.] has taken heavy casualties” in southern Afghanistan.”

 

 

At the same time, the latest issue of Defense Technology International has an article about how MRAPs are too bulky and because of that their effectiveness is limited in Afghanistan.

 

The U.S. Marine commander in the Garmsir region of Helmand province says 90 per cent of his combat patrols are dismounted. “To be amongst the people, you’ve got to walk out there,” said Lt.-Col. Christian Cabaniss, commander 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines.

 

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