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  • Morning Bell: Would You Take an SUV into Combat?

    Should our fighting men and women be forced to drive unarmed SUVs into war zones, with speed as their only defense against rocket and car bomb attacks? Tragically, that’s a true story of U.S. military readiness today, and America’s defenses will only get worse under the drastic cuts aimed at our armed forces.

    In a new video by The Heritage Foundation, combat veteran Kerry Kachejian explains why U.S. military readiness is so crucial. He has first hand experience in the matter from his experience during the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. “Because this unit was organized, staffed, equipped and deployed so quickly, there was no spare military equipment for it,” Kachejian explained. Unable to acquire the necessary armored vehicles, his unit turned to ingenuity, courage and innovative ways to get the job done, all while coming under withering assaults from the enemy.

    Kachejian’s story, which is continued in new book, “SUVs Suck In Combat,” illustrates the human impact of an ill-equipped military. He tells of being jolted by a one-thousand pound truck bomb, speeding at 110 mph through the streets of Iraq, ripping tailgates off SUVs and mounting machine guns in back, and men duct-taping their body armor to their vehicles to get even the smallest level of protection. On an individual level, the lesson is clear — our men and women soldiers are risking their lives in defense of freedom, and yet they’re ill-equipped to get the job done.

    But from the ground level to the global stage, a weak, unprepared military poses great threats, as well. Unfortunately, the U.S. military is in very real danger of growing weaker, losing its deterrent force, and being left unable to fight and win wars in defense of America.

    There are those in Washington who believe that America can afford to slash the military in order to shift that money elsewhere. That, though, will leave the military hollow and ill-prepared for growing threats. In a newly released Heritage lecture on the Obama Doctrine of humble engagement with friends and enemies, Kim R. Holmes explains that despite the president’s claim that the world is more secure, serious threats remain, all while the military’s readiness is being depleted.

    Clearly, the military is becoming weaker. You can argue that smaller is smarter, but at some point quantity matters. The military is getting smaller and weaker. It has already cancelled the F-22 and some F-35s, the C-17s are being delayed, and 100,000 forces are being taken out of the military’s end strength.

    Yet Iran has become more aggressive and is closer to gaining a nuclear weapon. Russia is far more aggressive and certainly not cooperating where we really need them to cooperate, such as on Syria and Iran. Our relationship with Pakistan has deteriorated sharply. It frankly is already acting as an adversary in some areas and may become even more so in the future. . .

    There’s also the question of the future in Afghanistan. The Taliban clearly think that they are winning the conflict and only need to wait us out. It is entirely possible that after 2014, there will be areas in Afghanistan that again become safe havens that the Taliban and other terrorists control.

    Despite these threats — not to mention China’s growing strength and North Korea’s erratic pursuit of nuclear weapons — future defense spending will be cut across the board by nearly $500 billion beginning next year, on top of the $487 billion in cuts proposed by President Obama in February. Those cuts will leave America with a military that is less prepared to defend the nation while signaling to our enemies that we have a weaker hand to play on the world stage.

    In Heritage’s video, Kachejian explains that “The big picture is, the military really is a national insurance policy. Its primary purpose is to deter war, and if you have to go to war, it has to win it as fast and inexpensively as it can.” That insurance policy is about to lapse unless Congress acts to ensure that the U.S. military has the resources it needs to effectively defend America.

    Today from 9 to 10 a.m. ET, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) will speak at The Heritage Foundation on why conservatives should fund and support a strong national defense. Click here to watch live online or view the archived video after the event.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    37 Responses to Morning Bell: Would You Take an SUV into Combat?

    1. joel carson says:

      The good reult of this is that the military hates the obame government .

    2. c hyatt says:

      No. Just like sending them in Hummer's without armor. What should happen is that we load up those in Washington who are making these decisions and send their butts into a combat zone. Not only would this result in better equipment for our military, it would also result in less overseas conflicts. It appears way too easy to me for or Politicians to send someone else's son, daughter, mom or dad into combat. Yet many of them dodged the whole thing based on a privilidged perceived status. It's comical to some politicians who have never seen first hand conflict lament about how it weighs on their mind to send troops in. Really.

    3. jinaeve says:

      Our troops are our most valuable and treasured asset in these troubling times and their safety should be of paramount concern. Its abhorrent that we have an administration bent on spending taxpayer dollars on illegitimate and insidious, irrelevant things then look to cut spending in the one area we should be spending more. This administration has a twisted and perverse sense of priority that must be not only turned over in November but thoroughly investigated and prosecuted if determined fraudulent, illegal or treasonous. The fact that this administration has gotten by with as much as they have up to now is mind boggling!

    4. ReaperHD says:

      The occupiers in the White House can spend millions on playing golf and going on vacations while our troops don't have the equipment they need. This is the most Anti-American Regime ever in the White House.

      • tucanofulano says:

        Yea, verily. Bicycles instead of tanks next? (of course they'd have to be equipped with plastic bike helmets or the lefties would really have a cow).

      • stephen says:

        Really, What happened to Rumfields statement that we go to war with the Army we have, not the one we want.

        • Bobbie says:

          what's your point? did Rumsfield take away military protections to spend money on social engineering, vacations and golf and make sure government pay is high enough that there wouldn't be adequate protections for the military?

    5. Curt Krehbiel says:

      "On an individual level, the lesson is clear — our men and women soldiers are risking their lives in defense of freedom, and yet they're ill-equipped to get the job done."

      The Muslims with their Islamic religeon will never be free. They live only to kill Christians and Jews even at the peril of losing their own miserable lives. It is a shame that we are losing so many of our military to a worthless cause.

    6. Rick says:

      “The big picture is, the military really is a national insurance policy. Its primary purpose is to deter war, and if you have to go to war, it has to win it as fast and inexpensively as it can.”

      This is our problem. The US doesn't "win" wars anymore. Our police actions cost us dearly in blood and treasure, and the outcomes are Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan. And until the US gets out of the policing business we need to be compensated by those countries we are protecting. It;s foreign aid that we can't afford any longer. The Pacific basin can well afford to pay for police protection. Iraq can as well.

    7. …this is rediculous. So the guys here cutting our troops recources can't take a hit for the US that they supposedly represent and take pay cuts when all they do is sit in a nice room with AC and talk? THAT is where our money is going, to those greedy pigs that should be homeless or struggle for weeks on end for their crimes of downright greed. I sure as hell don't want my friends in the Army going over there in just SUVs, and I want my sons future not to be so scary, as with all the facts pointed out, it more than likely will be if something doesn't change…makes me wanna go move to Australia, don't here anything about them down there. Lol.

    8. John White says:

      Just another example of individual ingenuity trumps government planning.

    9. Spiritof76 says:

      I don't think the defense department budget must be held immune form trimming our expenses. Please tell me why we are all over the world with no direct US defense involved. Please tell me why we are still in Europe, Japan and S.Korea after 50 or 60 years of cease fire. Why are we subsidizing European, Japanese and Korean defense when they are all wealthy to assume their own? Let us get back to the foreign policy of George Washington- mind our own business while aggressively defend the US.

    10. LTC Pete Kleff (Ret) says:

      There is nothing new about this. In the 1980s my U.S. Army Reserve unit did not have adequate personal field gear for its members. Many officers bought their own.

    11. Ray W. Johnson says:

      Why hasn't the media picked up on this? That is the fastest way to get it corrected.

    12. Gmanat12 says:


    13. Leith N Wood says:

      The present media will never pick up on this, because the majority are in Obama's pocket and work for him. Most of the press in America are liberal Democrats. They put Obama in office and are trying again. Reject them all.

    14. ThomNJ says:

      "…the president's claim that the world is more secure…" – well it is more secure for islam; so he has had success there.

      "It is entirely possible that after 2014, there will be areas in Afghanistan that again become safe havens that the Taliban and other terrorists control." I would say that this is a CERTAINTY at the current and projected state of affairs.

      The worst of all this is with a weak enough military, China or Russia (most likely China) will do something that forces us to back down, because we cannot possibly retaliate or sustain a fight long enough to get our industry into gear to produce deterent forces to aid a military that we'd have to suddenly expand. The world will most definitely not be safer for anyone if that happens, and it would certainly raise the odds of another world war.

    15. Tom says:

      Wars are fought different today. For the most part, we use drones flown by airmen sitting at an airbase outside Las Vegas Nevada to do the bombing yada yada.

    16. Why not? We drive what is prety much your every day Silverado into combat already. Have been for years.

      • Just a foot note, I actually feel safer in the Silverado than a tank. Sure, being able to take a hit and survive is nice. But being able to avoid getting hit all together is a whole other. Nothing more nerve wrecking than knowing your going to be hit and knowing your Tank is waaaaaaay too slow to avoid it. Our Silverados (LUWV) are a whole other story.

    17. Keith White says:

      All the defence cuts are the result of giving Obama and Co. the increase in the federal deficit with the cuts to be made later ( with the super committee) that everyone with a sane mind knew would never come about. We gave Obama an open check book and the cuts are manditory with the seqestration cuts to the military. We need to vote out all the IDIOTS that voted for this including the White House. VOTE SMART IN NOV. 2012

    18. tucanofulano says:

      I'd sure like to see our troops on US soil sorting out the illegal aliens and the libbers like BHO who are so anti-American and doing what they can to destroy the USA.

    19. stephen says:

      The Congress set themselves up for this up coming sequestration / reduction in the Military budget, So let them get their sorry a$$$$ off the comfy seats and get some work done, 2 wars on the credit card, Tax breaks and continued spending on free drugs, not a Darn complaint from us the Public, so don't whin and blame now, go take a Math course and figure out how to move us FORWARD as they say in Wisconsin.

    20. Jeanne Stotler says:

      If we do not improve the equiptment of our Armed forces we will be back in the same boat we were when WWII broke out. We need to have a good Armed forces and protect our interest in other countries, not let The Muslim Brotherhood destroy the Christian and Judea world.

    21. It's always been a problem. My brothers all served, as well as my husband, father, and father-in-law, at various times and during several wars. Supplies and equipment seem to be unimportant. If we are going to send our warriors into dangerous places, then let's give them the very best equipment and weaponry. We cannot defend this country with a weak military. Everyone thinks we overspend on the military. Actually, we don't. Look at the percentages of the national budget – that is, if the Senate ever gets around to passing one…

    22. Ann Wilson Kingsley says:

      Military spending needs to be cut in the appropriate places. The security and safety of soldiers is of paramount concern, but an outrageous number of foreign bases in a world of missiles, nukes, and drones is very foolish, as are contracts for outmoded equipment. We need to spend our tax dollars where they count the most, not just to satisfy military-industrial complex demands or American paranoia. One of the biggest problems the Federal government has is spending for high-tech when low-tech will do the job much better. It is quite probable that the very expensive recognizance drones are an example of this. One type of very expensive drone didn't even work, and we bought many of them. We need expert research and development, but military spending needs to be a down to earth proposition, not a gambling operation or based on pure fantasy. We do have the strongest military in the world, so Americans need to stop their paranoia about defense. We need defense, not military expansion, nation building, the U.S. as international policeman, or the U.S. as aggressor.

    23. STEVEN says:

      If I have to go into combat with a civilian SUV, I get to pick a congressman to be tide into the seat next to me!

    24. Wayne Peterkin says:

      The number one priority of the federal government must be national defense. Everything else is secondary. Intelligent defense spending is, of course, required and all defense spending should be carefully scrutinized for validity and need. However, the draconian cuts planned for the Defense Dept. must not happen and would indicate a federal government that is shirking their primary responsibility. Like most really important issues, this should never be relegated to politics as usual.

    25. Joan Knoertzer says:

      Senator Carl Levin has been chair of the Armed Services Committee since 2007. He is as responsible for this horrible situation as anyone in the government. He needs to resign. He has no conscience when it comes to his inept decisions which have caused these problems. Can you send him a copy of this article?
      Joan Knoertzer

    26. Ron W. Smith says:

      Fear is a powerful motivator. The $1,000,000,000,000 we spend (on borrowed money) every year on National Security is proof positive. It's more than is spent on it by the rest of the world combined, and that trillion, more than anything else that can be pointed to among annual expenditures by the federal government, is instrumental in growing our $16,000,000,000,000 national debt.
      How strong do we want our National Defense to be, Mike Brownfield? And at what cost to domestic needs and programs?

    27. RennyG says:

      Maybe they should look into the $4+Billion they paid out to the illegals in 2011, not counting the prior 3 years!!! What is really sad, they won't correct it and there is nothing you can do to the person in charge, or even if you can find them!!!!!!!!!!!! This is our new way of life!!!

    28. Juan Martinez says:

      BRING THEM HOME!!!! Once again, Heritage confuses spending a lot of money by the DoD with defending our nation from foreign threats. We would like them to be the same, but too often, they are not. We have troops in Germany, Japan, Korea, and now, even Australia. Against which enemy are they defending us? This is where we are supposed to spend our tax dollars?

      • Bobbie says:

        Juan, totally agree? In today's world if the world wants America's help the world's sincerity will foot their own bill! Teaching the world their personal responsibility! Lots of money and non regulated trillion dollar oil drills in the hands of the world that cheats America out of hers.

    29. Oscar Manful says:

      SUV's are a " necessary evil " in combat. Every risk must be taken in order to ensure our men and women are given the utmost and highest degree of protection in conflict situations. "Every bit counts " as the saying goes. Defense spending can never be underestimated in our budget. It most be given full and undivided attention.

    30. In my opinion, armored all-terrain off-road vehicles will have a wider purpose. Artillery, UAV or even "fire shadows" and "Thai fan," a kind of new-concept weapons – "patrol missile" can be used as an armored all-terrain vehicle off-road vehicles, to make it more powerful.

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