Armor: November 6, 1999


: Soldiers from the US Army's tank corps (officially: "the armor branch") are highly skeptical of General Shinseki's plan for a medium-weight mobile army based in wheeled vehicles and devoid of tanks. They are all for Shinseki's idea of rapid deployment, but insist on arriving in the 70-ton tanks they now drive. Anything else, they say, is simply not survivable. Armored soldiers point out that the US Army has to go to the enemy, and the enemy (already where he wanted to be) has no problem in bringing whatever "real tanks" he wants to the battlefield. Virtually every potential enemy is scrambling to upgrade their heavy armor, moving from the T-72 to the new T80/84/90 types. Many have pointed out that when the 2nd Light Armored Cavalry (the closest thing to Shinseki's medium brigade concept) went to the NTC, it was routinely wiped out within an hour by the heavy armor of the "Russian" tank brigade on the combat range.--Stephen V Cole




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