Procurement: February 1, 2004

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The U.S. Army finally got bullet proof body armor for all its troops in Iraq. This was done by getting five more companies to manufacture the vests and complex composite plates that make the protective vests truly bullet proof. Actually, the army didn't need the vests for everyone in Iraq, just for everyone who has to work outside one of the American compounds. In particular, for military police, the crews for supply trucks and technical specialists who were without the bullet proof apparel. Now they have it, as does everyone who rarely has to wear it. The casualty rate in Iraq is actually quite low, especially in historical terms. Currently, American forces suffer less than twenty dead or wounded a day. In earlier wars of this type, the casualty rate would have been 5-10 times higher. The bullet proof vests help, as do the heavily armored version of the hummer (120 of these are being produced each month, and shipped straight to Iraq.) The planning (to avoid getting attacked) and training (for what to do if attacked) have done far more to keep the casualties down. To that end, more UAVs and surveillance equipment are always arriving in Iraq. The people attacking Americans have not been able to cope with all the American surveillance gear. This includes the UAVs, night-vision gear, ground radars, surveillance cameras, motion detectors and all manner of new stuff being sent over to see if it will work in a real combat situation, and maybe save some American lives in the process. America has always fought a war of material. In the past this has meant lots of weapons and ammunition. But now it's lots of gadgets and better thought out tactics and training.

 


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