Paul McLeary on the frontlines in Iraq writes via Ares:
The Stryker vehicles I've tooled around in ride like the Cadillac
of combat vehicles--their maneuverability around the HESCO barriers and blast
walls the Iraqi CLC groups have erected all over the roads in this rural region
is remarkable, and their speed, range and force protection is
unmatched...Earlier in the week, an officer stressed to me that the Stryker is
"not an infantry carrier, it's more of a capabilities platform." Well sure,
except that out in the field, the Stryker is being used primarily as an infantry
carrier. While at Combat Outpost Courage, Captain Glen Helberg of Charlie
Company told me that the vehicles themselves, while great, are "really a ride to
where we need to go. We're not gonna win this thing just driving through the
towns." Helberg's First Sergeant Kenny Clayborne chimed in that "as far as
operations go, it's kind of just a ride. But the soldiers feel safer, and the
guys around here know that the Strykers mean business."
I think of the Stryker combat vehicles as battle taxis, and this post backs up my theory. It's not about the platforms themselves, as the hi-tech proponents in the Pentagon would insist, but what's being carried that is the future of warfare, in this case, our indispensable boots on the ground.