September 4, 2007
(USA TODAY Page 1 Feature) — The June 19 letter from the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee began with a message that top Pentagon officials had heard before: “I remain concerned about the Army’s slow reaction ” wrote Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.
The subject was sending better armor to Iraq specifically, a vehicle called the Bull, a heavily armored truck designed to guard against the latest and deadliest incarnation of the improvised explosive devices used in attacks on U.S. forces. IEDs have claimed the lives of more than half the U.S. troops killed in combat in Iraq.
The concern Levin voiced to Defense Secretary Robert Gates was fundamental: After four years of war, he feared that the Pentagon still wasn’t doing enough to protect U.S. troops and wouldn’t, unless prodded by Congress.
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