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ARMORED HUMMERS UNDERCUT

American Humvees in may not be sitting ducks in Iraq. But they're pretty close. Without some extra armor, the vehicles certainly can't stand up to the Iraqi insurgents' onslaught of rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs."So how is the White House proposing to deal with this?" asks Slate's Eric Umanky. "By underfunding the program to armor Humvees."We mentioned last week that the U.S. Army is discouraging its soldiers from adding their own jerry-rigged armor to their Humvees. But it's testing out a new-fangled "peel-and-stick" kind of armor on a limited number of Hummers. And the service is steeling a few of its vehicles through official channels.Now, Marine Corps higher-ups are saying they won't even take that step. They like their Humvees the way they are."We've looked at the up-armored Humvee... and it has maintenance problems. It's much lower to the ground," and its weight and configuration make it more difficult to move from ship to shore, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee tells UPI.

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