Military Safety 101

A U.S. military convoy drives through Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, April 6, 2007. Iraqi forces backed by American soldiers swept into a troubled, predominantly Shiite city south of Baghdad before dawn Friday, and the U.S. military said as many as six militia fighters had been killed. AP Photo/Jalal Mudhar

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Remember when communities around the country raised money to buy body armor for their sons and daughters fighting in Iraq? Sometimes the armor was used to put on the doors of Humvees; so many of those vehicles had no armor at all.

The folks fighting in the field made do.

Well, while our guys were making do, our military was ignoring the realities of the deadly Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks that have taken American lives.

In a front-page expose in USA Today, we read that the military has a vehicle that is basically IED-proof. Yet only a handful were ordered for Iraq. So valuable were these vehicles that they were ordered for the Iraqi army. The U.S. general said, in a memo, "Wish we had some."

Wish we had some? The most powerful nation on earth, the richest nation on earth, is ill-equipped or under-equipped.

Why? There is no answer that could possibly justify not equipping the troops.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.


By Harry Smith

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