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Army Sec'y: More Body Armor

Hunh. So lots of soldiers and marines have chimed in on the latest body armor debate here. And just about all of 'em think that adding extra plates to an already heavy armor load is a bad idea. It's already hard enough to maneuver, they say; squeezing into Humvees is a particular bitch.daps_back.jpgArmy Secretary Francis Harvey's message: suck it up. He told the AP yesterday that every GI ought to wear a couple of extra protective panels along the sides of the armor vest, adding another 5-6 pounds to his load."That's going to add weight, of course," Harvey told Pentagon reporters at a news conference. "You've read where certain Soldiers aren't happy about that. But we think it's in their best interest to do this."Now, "Army officials stressed that Harvey was offering his opinion," the AP reports. "They said unit commanders in Iraq and elsewhere make the final decision on what armor their troops must wear." Which is absolutely the right idea. The guys on the ground know best how dangerous their areas are, and how much protection is needed. But given the political pressure on this issue, I wonder how long it's going to be until that suggestion becomes an order.

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