When I spent my four years in the Air Force (1991-1995), there were many things that I learned about being an Airman as well as being a supervisor.  One of those things was that in order to do my job correctly, I had the right to demand the proper equipment to do so.  Apparently in the new corporate military, this aspect of the supervisor/underling relationship has been abolished.

“Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmour our vehicles?” Army Spc Thomas Wilson asked.

His question brought cheers from some 2,000 fellow soldiers – mostly Reserve and National Guard troops – assembled in an aircraft hangar for the question-and-answer session that followed Mr Rumsfeld’s speech.

Mr Rumsfeld paused, before asking him to repeat the question, AP news agency reported.

Spc Wilson did so, adding, “we do not have proper armoured vehicles to carry with us.”

“You go to war with the army you have,” Mr Rumsfeld replied, saying vehicle armour manufacturers were being exhorted to crank up production.

Mr Rumsfeld added that vehicle armour might not provide total protection from the perils faced by soldiers in Iraq – such as roadside bombs.

“You can have all the armour in the world on a tank and it can [still] be blown up,” Mr Rumsfeld said.

I can understand what Mr. Rumsfeld says only in relation to a state/world emergency (i.e. Pearl Harbor).  If something so grave occurs, then you go to war with what you have.  But this war was planned carefully(?) over a period of time.  There were no dire circumstances.  There is no reason for our troops to be so vulnerable.

Troops grill Rumsfeld over Iraq