One soldier, identified by The Associated Press as Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the 278th Regimental Combat Team, a Tennessee National Guard outfit, asked Rumsfeld why more military combat vehicles were not reinforced for battle conditions.But, you know, not everyone has the same constraints. American families might have been buying body armor and shipping it to their kin in Iraq, but other soldiers get taken care of:
"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked.
The question prompted cheers from some of the approximately 2,300 troops assembled in the large hangar to hear Rumsfeld deliver a pep talk at what the Pentagon called a town hall meeting.
"As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want," Rumsfeld said.
He added, "You can have all the armor in the world on a tank, and it can [still] be blown up."
Senior officials who described the package on Friday said they believed the administration had resolved those concerns, in part by promising Israel $30.4 billion in military aid over the next decade, a significant increase over what Israel has received in the past 10 years.Hey, I'm sure John Hagee's tickled pink, anyway.
Security officials in Jerusalem called the increase in military aid "an unusual achievement." They added that the increase was the primary objective during Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's most recent visit to the U.S. last month. "In Olmert's meeting with President Bush in Washington, the president agreed to increase military aid by 25 percent to $3 billion per annum for the next 10 years," one diplomatic source reported.