Thursday, December 09, 2004

Supporting the Troops?

Rumsfeld faces dissent from US troops

Dan Glaister
Thursday December 9, 2004
The Guardian

US troops on their way to Iraq peppered the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, with complaints yesterday, claiming they were heading into the conflict zone with pieces of scrap metal for armour.

During a frank exchange at a base in Kuwait, 12 miles from the Iraqi border, Mr Rumsfeld was asked why armour was not available for vehicles travelling to northern Iraq and how long the so-called "stop-loss" policy, which prevents soldiers from leaving the service, would be applied.

Speaking from the audience, Thomas Wilson asked: "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armour our vehicles?"

Hundreds of troops applauded and when Mr Rumsfeld appeared not to hear, Mr Wilson said: "We do not have proper armoured vehicles to carry with us north."



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