You know the old joke about the committe, right – where the committee is assigned to design a sleek thoroughbred race horse and winds up with a camel?
It’s not a joke.
Newspapers printed thousands of stories about how American GIs in Iraq were at risk because of lack of armour against the al-Qaeda and insurgent roadside bombs. So a committee was formed to make a new vehicle. It is the Cougar Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV).
Ultimately the jockey has to clamber aboard the camel, and the ground-pounders have to climb into the troop carrier. And they get to write reviews.
first look… the thing looks like the Cadillac Escalade of tactical vehicles… it is obviously better equipped to resist blast-type mines and IEDs than any other vehicle in the inventory. On top of the increased protection, the MRAP has a fantastic communications system installed…
For a motorized infantry mission, however, the MRAP’s shortcomings are many…. The MRAP is a vehicle that is well-suited for a particular niche, but due to pressure from people such as our lawmakers in Congress, it has been pressed into service in roles that it is not suited for (and)… ultimately a poor choice.
As indicated, I have excerpted the review heavily. If you’re interested in this classic case of committee interference, you had better read it all. It is one of the finest illustrations of the millennium of why legislators should keep their hands off military matters where the rubber hits the road. War may be too imporant to be left to the generals, but warfare is far too imporant for politicians to get involved.