Are Our Soldiers Scrounging for Weapons? Hardly.

| February 22, 2008 | Reply

This paragraph from the Obamessiah in last night’s debate could hurt him a lot:

You know, I’ve heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon–supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And as a consequence, they didn’t have enough ammunition, they didn’t have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.

I’m not a military guy, but I know enough about basic military organization and our combat doctrines to know it’s complete crap. The best takedown on this odd little vignette is here. Hot Air has a good roundup of actual facts and some comments by Blackfive, who knows whereof he speaks.

Jake Tapper talked to the Captain in question and finds that the story checks out. I think he’s a little too willing to believe. What the Captain really says is that he experienced what every soldier in every theater has experienced since the dawn of warfare. He went to war with a platoon that was not at it’s assigned capacity. So does every military unit. They’re like that when there isn’t a war on, too. It’s the way the bureaucratic game is played. They didn’t get all the equipment and vehicles the Captain wanted. And when do they ever? When have they ever, even in World War II (which was supposedly when our nation was the most unified and the CiC most driven to equip our soldiers to the fullest)?

The big point Obama was trying to make is that the Captain’s soldiers were so bad off that they were capturing Taliban weapons to make up for their own lack of equipment. The Captain debunks that quickly and concisely. He says that “the purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons…” Of course, they used Taliban weapons, but then again, our soldiers have used captured weapons pretty much since the American Revolution. That’s what happens in a war. Obama’s real point is that our soldiers were so desperate that they were attacking the Talban for their stuff.

That’s not true and Jake Tapper confirmed it. Of course, he plays it off and scolds we bloggers on the right but I think that’s because he actually missed that Obama misconstrued what the Captain told him. he twisted it into a failing of the Commander in Chief instead of the normal ebb and flow of warfare. The milbloggers commenting around the blogosphere today are correct. Obama tried to jam the story into his overall narrative that we’re killing the soldiers with our horrible neglect and that the best thing to do is to bring them home right now. That’s wrongheaded and foolish and no amount of twisting escapes that.

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