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Insurgents may be Smarter than we Thought

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

(SNN) The US Army has reported that 80 Abrams tanks have been damaged badly enough that they have to be returned to the United States for repairs. This number is much higher than the 18 Abrams tanks lost during the 1991 Gulf war.

Army spokesmen have been very cautious about giving out information.

The total number of tanks to be damaged is unknown. Army spokesmen have been very cautious about giving out information. "We have been very cautious about giving out information," says Jan Finegan, spokeswoman for the Army. For security purposes, the Army does not want to give out the methods used to destroy the tanks.

Designed to fight other tanks, the Abrams' heavy armor is up front. In Iraq's cities insurgents sneak up from behind, fire from rooftops above and set off mines below. They have also been known to detonate a roadside bomb in hopes of blowing the tread off the tank. After the tank is softened up, insurgents use rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and gunfire aimed at the less-armored areas. The Army especially doesn’t want insurgents to know that the rear engine compartment is particularly vulnerable.

The tank weighs 69 tons, has three mounted machine guns and a 120mm cannon

Now in case you’re not familiar with the Abrams, the tank weighs 69 tons, has three mounted machine guns and a 120mm cannon, and its 1500 horsepower engine can propel it at speeds up to 42mph. It is very unlikely that insurgents have been destroying them by accident. Nor is it very likely that the insurgents decided to destroy the Abrams tanks on a whim. You don’t just wake up in the morning, have some juice, and say “I think I’m going to blow up a 70 ton tank today.”

Col. Russ Gold has said that the enemy knows the weak points on the tank. "It's a thinking enemy, and they know weak points on the tank, where to hit us," Col. Gold said. It could be speculated that the Iraq war would be going much better if the enemy were unable to think.


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