Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Are MRAPs the wave of the future?

So, 4 years into Iraq and the decision seems to have finally been made to stop driving around in Humvees "outside the wire" and ride around solely in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected(MRAP) vehicles. With the possibility of us pulling out and leaving Iraq "as is"(as no politician has the cajones to institute a draft to get the numbers necessary to pacify the country) within the year increasing, it may not seem entirely logical to go out and buy 17,000 new vehicles.

Most modern MRAPs are derived(or heavily influenced by) from South African designs dating back several decades. Indeed, when the CF deployed to Canada they went out and bought several dozen vehicles from a South African firm. Today, users from subsaharan African countries to Blackwater Security utilize these vehicles.

But that doesn't answer the question of "If the odds are we won't be in Iraq much longer, why spend the money?". For one thing, we(that is, the Nation) would be derelict in making sure our servicemen and women have the protection they need, not matter how long we're going to be there. For another, the Humvee is slated for a replacement soon anyway, so we might as well use a safer vehicle for a replacement(I would prefer a safer vehicle that also has better gas mileage , personally). And thirdly, IEDs seem to be here to stay. Even if we were to leave Iraq tomorrow, we would still face IEDs in Afghanistan, and I suspect that were we to deploy on peacekeeping missions in other high-pace environments(such as Darfur) we would face them there as well.

2 comments:

Zippy said...

>> You said - "I would prefer a safer vehicle that also has better gas mileage , personally"

Well, at least you didn't come right out and put miles per gallon above a Soldiers life, but not far from it.

Yes, the Cougar saves lives. Does it use more fuel than an up-armored Humvee - sure maybe a couple miles less per gallon. IS it worth the life of you son? Your daughter? Your next door neighbor...I would think so.

American blood will always be more valuable than oil. I would hope other think about the lives these vehicle save as opposed to MPG....

Just a thought.

PotomacGeek said...

Speaking as a former serviceman, I have to say, no of course not. BUT I am referring to higher MPG in the context of when we hit the big hydrocarbon crunch. It is a national security interest to have our forces be as fuel efficient as possible, so we aren't hit as hard as we will be.