Rumsfeld was in Kuwait hoping to cheer up the troops but faced a few tough questions:
One soldier, identified by The Associated Press as Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the 278th Regimental Combat Team, a Tennessee National Guard outfit, asked Rumsfeld why more military combat vehicles were not reinforced for battle conditions. “Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?” Wilson asked, prompting cheers from some of the approximately 2,300 troops assembled in the large hangar to hear Rumsfeld deliver a pep talk.
Rumsfeld said armored military vehicles have been brought to the region “from all over the world, from where they’re not needed to a place they’re needed.” A Pentagon spokesman said later Wednesday that 450 armored Humvees are being produced each month. This is up from August 2003 when only 15 per month were made. “It’s essentially a matter of physics, not a matter of money,” Rumsfeld said. “It’s a matter of production and the capability of doing it.” In April, the Pentagon said it was spending $400 million to replace the Army’s thin-skinned Humvees in Iraq with the so-called “uparmored” reinforced versions.
When they say it’s not about money …I guess promising to win this thing and to give the rich a tax cut at the same time is causing some grief for this Administration. Soldiers unnecessarily killed or wounded do not show up in the budget deficit numbers. Now who was it that decided we had to rush into this invasion?