- Nov 27, 2007
"In the chaos of an early morning assault on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips' M4 carbine quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn't work either.
When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a "critical moment" during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents."
Awwww, jeez....the military-hierarchy is in-bed with the weapns-industry...AGAIN!!!
"The harsh terrain of Iraq and Afghanistan have served as proving grounds for the U.S. Army, putting to the test virtually all that soldiers wear, carry and operate.
One critical lesson has been that the M4 and M16 rifles that regular Army troops carry are dangerously vulnerable to the fine sand and extreme temperatures of those combat zones. Soldiers have had their weapons jam when they most needed them — while under fire. Keeping them clean in the combat zone requires more care than is reasonable to expect from busy, weary soldiers.
Members of Delta Force decided they wanted a weapon more reliable than the Colt-made M4 and bought a new carbine, the 416, from gunmaker Heckler & Koch. The 416 essentially is an enhanced M4 but with a critical difference: It features an operating system that better cycles the heat and gas created when rounds are fired, reducing both the rate at which the wea-pon jams and the wear on parts.
Though the 416 is more reliable and comparable in cost to the M4, Army leaders are not considering it for regular soldiers, saying it did not represent enough of a leap in technology."
"Near the end of my stay in Boston, several American and Vietnamese veteran writers held an impromptu gathering at a local Boston pub. I sat katty corner to Ninh, who sat pensively, occasionally sipping whiskey from a shot glass and casually chain-smoking Camel cigarettes. I offhandedly asked him what he thought of the standard issue M-16, an icon of the War Against The Americans, as the Vietnam War is known to the Vietnamese. He slapped my knee and smiled. His response was swift and direct, expressed without passing judgment on what remains a controversial weapon. The M-16 often jammed, he said. It was prone to malfunctioning if submerged underwater or fouled by dust, dirt or mud. The NVA had difficulty finding the lubricant used to maintain it. In contrast, Bao Ninh described the legendary qualities of the AK-47. Submerged, soaked or covered in mud, this emblematic weapon of the NVA and VC performed without fail. In all ways save one it was a superior weapon."