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Army of Davids Beats Pentagon Procurement 412

Posted by Zonk
from the many-hands-make-smart-work dept.
chris-chittleborough writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that 'a Marine officer in Iraq, a small network-design company in California, a nonprofit troop-support group, a blogger and other undeterrable folk designed a handheld insurgent-identification device, built it, shipped it and deployed it in [Iraq] in 30 days.' Compare this to the Automated Biometric Identification System, a multi-megabuck Pentagon project now 2 years old. With bureaucracy increasingly strangling innovation, will agile smaller businesses be able to accomplish what once required a sprawling government project?"
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Army of Davids Beats Pentagon Procurement

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  • by with_him (815684) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:45PM (#17952582)
    A great story of how I won't take no for an answer solves problems. I just hope, and bet, it will save lives on the ground in Iraq.
  • Apples & Oranges? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:47PM (#17952614) Homepage Journal
    So does their device withstand extremes of temperature duration both
    operation and storage? High humidity? Is it impervious to dust?
    How does it handle shock and vibration?

    20+ years ago, I worked for a company that designed & manufactured
    power supplies for the military. It's one thing to design a quick
    & dirty one-off, proof-of-concept. It's quite another to build a
    production device that will withstand continued use in a multitude
    of military environments.

  • by gravesb (967413) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:51PM (#17952676) Homepage
    The government will never be as efficient as a business. This is especially true in procurement, where there are enormous safeguards to try and restrict corruption. Of course, these safeguards don't always work. But they have been added over time as people learned to cheat the system, and are there for a reason. What we lose in agility we gain, somewhat, in transperency and review. Its a trade-off, and it makes the article's contention a truism. Its also intentional.
  • I wish we could. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:55PM (#17952728)
    If my login wasn't clue enough...

    I've had so many negative experiences when dealing with governmental customers. While there is a lot of blame to be laid on the large companies, I can't fathom (or rather I don't want to) how much money has been wasted by people who really don't understand what they want, or how much it will cost to actually get what they want.

    I've spent months doing work only to have it erased by the customer, worked another month, only to have them revert back to the origin. Only then do they discover that you can't just 'go back' once production has started without huge costs.

    Or maybe they do understand it, but just don't care.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:55PM (#17952738) Homepage Journal
    That the quick and dirty app working now usually trumps the super-duper uber app that may get built in 3 or 4 years.
  • by mattbadass (165861) <mattbadass@UMLAUTbeer.com minus punct> on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:55PM (#17952742)
    In situations like this, I would be careful the source. This is coming from an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, which is extraordinarily conservative. I'm not saying that this isn't a shameful example of the Pentagon getting bogged down in bureaucracy. But anything coming out of the Wall St Journal's editorial board smacks of political agenda. In this case "government == bad. free enterprise == good". And this is one of the directors of the editorial board to boot.

    Just my 3 cents.
  • by jaymzru (1005177) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:56PM (#17952758)
    What's more, it was "sprawling government project" and "strangling innovation" which carry enough pejorative connotation to make the juxtaposition permissible.
  • Gold Platting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hangtime (19526) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:59PM (#17952816) Homepage
    There is a difference between trying to get everything perfect and good enough. This is good enough. Waiting around trying to figure out how to get all this networked isn't it going to help.
  • by jofny (540291) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:05PM (#17952896) Homepage
    Yeah, smaller companies distribute and process information more effectively, so they are almost always better suited to developing new things than the government or the large contractors. However, producing old things repeatably to the same spec and with organizational resiliancy is something smaller companies have a harder time doing, so from a long term perspective it's not a clear win for smaller companies.

    The only time the government really beats out private industry (and to a greater extent, larger orgs beat out smaller ones) on new technology innovation is when it's a money issue (the materials really do cost billions of dollars). As technology has gotten cheaper and become more accessible, that advantage has slowly disappeared.

    A larger issue than size, though, is that governments (most of them, this one in particular) tend to recruit homogenous workforces and encourage groupthink. Workers are encouraged (directly or through lack of promotions, harassment, etc.) to "fit in" at an institutional level. So, it's not surprising that the government is not as innovative as other places.

    People lately are often heard saying that the US government doesn't "pay enough" to get good people. I dont know about you all, but I'd give up a little pay to work on interesting projects and with good people. The government's problem is that it doesn't -like- people who are creative, innovative, and different and actively selects them out - not the pay.
  • by fermion (181285) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:05PM (#17952898) Homepage Journal
    We know that we can build equal equipment cheaper and faster, but just think of the children of the KBR executives that will not receive a tropical island for christmas because some do goodder was more interested in protecting troops than Haliburton profits. I mean, my god, if our desire was to simply stop terrorism we would have another president right now, and probably would have put bin laden on trail rather than hussain.
  • by illegalcortex (1007791) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:14PM (#17953030)

    dems dont want to let them have the funding they need
    So, tell me again how the dems managed to cause this problem when they were utterly out of power for the last for the last decade. Oh, and for the last six years the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress with enough votes to pass anything other than mandatory baby sacrifices and had a president that would sign any bill sent to him?

    Those lousy Democrats sure are crafty...
  • by compro01 (777531) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:15PM (#17953040)
    well, we (Canada) are working on afganistan, though no one seems to want to help us with it. not meaning the US, as they have their hands full with iraq.

    though this is yet another example of how damn effective gururla warfare is. the only time you tend to see terms like "dishonourable conduct" and "unfair tactics" is from the side that is not doing well.

    if you don't buy that it is effective, consider that the enemy, armed with AK-47s, RPGs, high explosives, and dedication to their cause, are holding their own against what is likely the most expensive and advanced miltary in the world.
  • by ajlitt (19055) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:21PM (#17953118)
    RTFA: They did not design any new hardware. They put together an application to run on an off-the-shelf ruggedized fingerprint scanning PDA and a hardened (article isn't clear about what this means) laptop for database storage. The app isn't even from the ground-up: a police event tracking application was used as a base.

    This goes to show that the Not Invented Here attitude of most government contractors is due to wanting to stretch out a contract rather than trying to make a more reliable design.
  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vic-traill (1038742) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:23PM (#17953144)
    So, call me an ignorant foreigner (I'm Canadian), but why are US military forces doing the job of a domestic police force in a middle-eastern country?

    I swear to god I'm not trolling - but for the life of me, I don't understand why you're shipping guys halfway around the world to do someone else's job.
  • by Skadet (528657) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:25PM (#17953186) Homepage

    But since Bush doesn't want to impact the profitability of this war[. . .]
    Wait, do we hate Bush because he's spending too much money on the war, or because he didn't finance it enough to let the troops do their job? I'm so confused!
  • Re:Infantry proof (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:26PM (#17953196) Homepage Journal
    The problem is that military technology is falling behind consumer technology. For example, many troops are carrying consumer GPS units because the military units (which can actually be more accurate) are too difficult to acquire and use. It's a lot easier for the troops to get large shipments of consumer GPS units w/spares that do what they need them to rather than waiting for the contracter to finish building an improved model after the war is over.

    Another way of thinking of the situation is like this: Is it better to have a piece of equipment that might break rather than having no equipment at all?

    If the answer is "yes", then a stopgap solution like the one in the article needs to be deployed immediately. If the answer is "no, it would be worse than having nothing" then the troops should make due without.
  • by Terminal Saint (668751) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:27PM (#17953218)
    A good solution now is better than a perfect solution two years from now. I'd rather have one of these devices that breaks down occasionally than go without until it's perfected.
  • by paiute (550198) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:28PM (#17953236)
    Trying to fight a "major war"? We are not at war and have not been since 1945.

  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:32PM (#17953300) Homepage
    No. We should listen to the people who've been there, but we will absolutely not refrain from speaking just because we haven't. Do you have opinions about Vietnam? Kosovo? Sudan? The Civil War? Stem-cell research? Environmental policy? Do you think you should be disqualified from expressing or advocating a position simply because you weren't in those places or actively engaged in those research projects?

    I hear your line of commentary a lot. The experience of people who are there and who have been there is important, but everyone's individual experience is still just that - it doesn't give an overview, you may miss very important features of the situation that didn't occur where you are (and, of course, it leaves out the experiences of Iraqis). Asking your experiences to be taken seriously is important. Trying to quell discussion based on those experiences is wrong.
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:37PM (#17953370) Homepage

    though this is yet another example of how damn effective gururla warfare is. the only time you tend to see terms like "dishonourable conduct" and "unfair tactics" is from the side that is not doing well.

    Traditional armies have been saying that about insurgents since at least the US war for independance. They didn't line up into neat rows and square off against British soldiers like they were expected to.

    if you don't buy that it is effective, consider that the enemy, armed with AK-47s, RPGs, high explosives, and dedication to their cause, are holding their own against what is likely the most expensive and advanced miltary in the world.

    Of course it's effective. They are using the tactics that the Americans trained and equipped them to use against the Soviets. And, they were good at it -- you'll notice the Societs eventually gave up and went home.

    It's a higly effective set of tactics.

    Cheers
  • by finlandia1869 (1001985) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:42PM (#17953448)
    IAANAT (I Am A Navy Acquisition Type). Don't give me the "ditching the peacetime acquisition system would fix this" argument - innumerable, half-assed products are developed and dumped on the troops during wartime in the name of getting things to the field quickly. They get fixed only after it catches fire and kills the crew. Or they don't work after falling in salt water. Or something like that. Wartime is no better. Troops in the field always want the latest and greatest Right Now; they don't care that 79 other guys are asking for the same thing, but a little different, resulting in 80 incompatible systems that each carry their own, unique logistics tail.

    I also can say that the big contractors are indispensable for some things. Lockheed Martin maintains and updates the monster that is Aegis, for example. David has no ability to do this. Maybe an army of Davids overseen by LockMart acting as lead integrator, but otherwise no.

    The acquisition process has serious problems, don't get me wrong. But anecdotes don't make a good argument.
  • by jalefkowit (101585) <jason@jasonlefko ... net minus distro> on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:45PM (#17953498) Homepage

    It's news that a small group of committed individuals moves faster than Department of Defense procurement? Continental drift moves faster than Department of Defense procurement.

    It can take decades for a new weapons system to go from concept to prototype to deployment. Look how long systems like the F-22 fighter [globalsecurity.org] were in the procurement pipe. The DoD procurement process is so lengthy that by the time the system is deployed, the threat it was designed to counter has often disappeared.

  • by E++99 (880734) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:48PM (#17953552) Homepage

    Something tells me that if we drafted the appropriate industries to build a *REAL* military industrial complex, and punished profiteering adequately in the first place, our troops could have had this technology (instead of a stupid deck of playing cards) in 2002, instead of waiting until 2007 for it to be delivered. But since Bush doesn't want to impact the profitability of this war, we have to wait for a significantly patriotic David to identify who the enemy is. It's exactly this lack of vision that has turned Afghanistan back into a Taliban-controlled country and destroyed our success in Iraq.

    You have it completely backwards. It is free enterprise that can move with agility and innovate, and which has done so in this case. And it is the overwhelming regulation required with any complex Federally controlled enterprise which strangles it. So, no, the idea that some fascist, command-economy, profit-punishing, military-industrial complex would out-innovate what we have now, is COMPLETELY NUTS.
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['o.c' in gap]> on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:49PM (#17953572) Journal
    Large corporations also suffer from beaurocracy and inflexibility. I can't believe I'm saying this being as lefty-liberal as I am, but the difference is that companies follow a natural life cycle. They start out small and agile, get bigger through success against their less nimble rivals, become less nimble themselves, and get beaten in their turn. Government has no natural rivals and thus never dies. It just shambles on, zombie-like.

    I'll put that down to people's fear of not being able to support themselves, and thus being unable to let go of a job even if that job is no longer relevant. Perhaps if rights to food, clothing and shelter were garaunteed, government departments that had outlived their usefulness would be less resistant to being dissolved.

    Whew! Almost let a pro-capitalist thought slip through unchallenged. ;-)
  • by Radon360 (951529) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:54PM (#17953636)
    From Merriam-Webster:

    insurgent(noun)
    1: a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; especially : a rebel not recognized as a belligerent
    2: one who acts contrary to the policies and decisions of one's own political party

    Setting aside the legality of the occupation for a moment, the typical insurgent isn't defending his homeland, but more so fighting for his particular faction to gain control or power, doing whatever harm against others in relatiation for "being wronged" whether by United States or another competing faction.

    The troops at this point aren't so much fighting a convential war, but rather working as an "industrial strength" version of a police force to stop one group from attacking the other and vice-versa, getting caught in the middle from "meddling" with each groups objectives. As a police force, they need the tools of a police force in order to locate and identify troublemakers and perform their investigations more efficiently. This is one example (of many) tools to function in this manner. Remember that the military is better equipped for fighting wars and not function as a domestic police force. Equipment like this would allow them to function better with their current mission as such.

    Think of it this way for a moment: Would a city's police force be very effective if you took away all of their offender databases, mobile data terminals and other tech tools? Yes, you could equip them all with body armor and machine guns, but their effectiveness is then limited to "shoot first and ask questions later". If the police were only allowed to operate in this mode, it's no wonder that all sorts of uprisings and attacks would result.

  • by mikeisme77 (938209) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:59PM (#17953728) Homepage Journal
    I just had a conversation about this today. There are essentially three solutions to this problem:
    • Withdraw from Iraq and let it go to hell in a hand basket. People have an issue with this because they think of it as "defeat", I see it as cutting losses... Also, some people see it as bad on our part for causing a mess and then abandoning it... but really, it was sort of already a mess...
    • Cut off all communication between Iraq and the outside world and fight the war like wars used to be fought (kill whoever you need to kill to stop an insurgency). This of course would be frowned upon by the UN and likely to create martyrs/create more problems/force us to spread this tactic throughout the Middle East... Probably not the best solution... but if you're going to fight a war, you should fight a war...
    • Divide the country up into smaller portions where each of the major factions controls part of it (see: Yugoslavia). Again, the UN is likely to frown upon this. There's also the issue that Syria and Iran are likely to antagonize these smaller nations and that could lead to issues. Plus these smaller nations may very well fight amongst themselves any way. And to make matters even worse one of the new countries would likely be Kurdish and Turkey and many other Middle Eastern countries have stated that they will not allow a new Kurdish state to be formed...
    In short, we should cut our losses and bill it as a "strategic retreat" rather than a "defeat" for those who actually care... Otherwise, we're looking at being there for decades with, likely, very little progress...
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:06PM (#17953868)
    For the same reason American GIs were policing Germany and Japan 60 years ago.

    What do you mean "were"?

    I hate to have to clue the /. crowd into this little fact but the Americans are still policing Germany and Japan.

    Granted, there is no insurgency, there is no Iron Curtain nor any cold war any longer but the fact is that had the US and associated allies abandoned their posts in these nations after the ink on the peace treaties were signed there would have been another war the next day. While this occupation has gone on for far too long don't think for a second that the peace treaties truely put everything at peace. How the hell do you think WWII started in the first place?

    It's good to see people keeping an eye out for the big brother factor but I think we're all a bit too quick to think that there is going to be a defined point where everyone is going to drop their weapons and return to their farms and markets the next day. It simply doesn't happen.

    There was a pretty interesting article today on MSNBC.com [msn.com] about seeing the problems in Iraq and the rest of the middle east from the eyes of an American Muslim. I recommend people who don't understand the Sunni/Shiite conflicts to go read this. It's not overly involved and it makes it a bit easier to understand what is really wrong not to mention it gives some insight into what is really more a matter of gang warfare as opposed to a real insurgency.
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['o.c' in gap]> on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:18PM (#17954120) Journal
    Employers do not garauntee anything. They exist to make profits for the shareholders. They don't give a rats ass how many people starve, and in fact profit from keeping people scared. Scared people are more likely to accept low wages and poor working conditions. Contrary to popular belief, most people actually do want to contribute to society, and if offered a choice between getting the bare minimum to survive while not contributing, or getting even a little more but being a productive member of society, most will choose the later. As long as people are worried about their very survival, they can't really be free.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:28PM (#17954356)
    Traditional armies have been saying that about insurgents since at least the US war for independance. They didn't line up into neat rows and square off against British soldiers like they were expected to.

    Actually that is not quite true. Except for a few well publisized examples like the British retreat from Lexington and Concord, most of the time the Continental army faced the British army toe to toe and fought by the formal rules of the day. They lost most of the battles (at least those in the north). The English had too long of a supply line and other political problems at home and just decided to focus their attention elsewhere.

    They were beaten not by a mythical rifleman hiding behind a tree but rather in part by real soldiers fighting a stand-up fight and (more importantly) the political realities of their time.
  • by Cornflake917 (515940) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:30PM (#17954406) Homepage
    [quote] After they left, communists took power -- [b]and killed far more people than the war.[/b] [/quote]

    Link, please.

    First of all, Americans where in Vietnam for more than two decades. They had their chance. It's not like the American forces didn't some small window of oppurtunity to end the conflict.

    Second, can you give an accurate estimate of how much more NVA soldiers Americans would have needed to kill to end the war? Do you know how much more people would have been killed after the war if the outcome was in our favor? I sure as hell can't. That's why bringing numbers into to this is more bull shit than anything else.

    One of the main reasons why we went there in the first place was because McCarthy scared the shit out of the American public (sound familiar?), and basically made people believe that if communism doesn't end in Vietnam, then the whole world would become a slave to communism. Of course, this never happened after the war.

    [quote]Guns don't kill people, peacenik bullshit does![/quote]
    People who refuse to fight to defend their family, friends, and country are pussies. I have no qualms saying that. But Vietnam wasn't a war about defending ourselves. After we "lost" Vietnam, they didn't come over and bomb the shit out of us, like we did to them. So pulling out of there wasn't as a horrible decision as you make it out be.
  • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:47PM (#17954702) Homepage
    Yes.
    100 people a day is, seriously, something to sneeze at.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:08PM (#17955240)

    They start out small and agile, get bigger through success against their less nimble rivals, become less nimble themselves, and get beaten in their turn. Government has no natural rivals and thus never dies.
    It's not just that. Bigger companies (and governments) solve bigger problems. The reason the Army is careful is because going off half-cocked gets people killed just as much as doing nothing, and, yes, is more scandalous. It sounds great to give everybody autonomy so they can react quickly and decisively, but along with that comes Abu Ghraib, friendly fire, and missing palettes of cash. You can say what you want about our nimble opponents in the face of an ossified DOD, but the fact is the US has a very high kill ratio due to things like standardized training, fighter aircraft, and M1 tanks, which result ONLY from big, coordinated activities that no single small company - or even a collection of exclusively small companies - can do. (Nor am I saying a high kill ratio in itself will win Iraq, but that's more a problem with the mission itself than the force structure). Even projecting an invasion force from the US to Iraq in the first place is by definition a large scale activity that could never be approached as a large, highly coordinated effort (again, aside from whether going there was a bright idea in the first place).
  • by Bassman59 (519820) <andy@@@latke...net> on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:40PM (#17955932) Homepage

    Face it ... the large military contractors (the Raytheons, the Halliburtons, the whomevers) are not rewarded for their innovations. They're rewarded, in units of large contracts for weapons systems with questionable necessity and dubious quality, for their contributions to the campaigns of the political leaders who control those contracts. Can you said "quid pro quo"? Sure you can. And the more impressive-sounding and more expensive the proposed weapons systems are, the more likely the funders get hard-ons for them.

    Oh, yeah, and let's add in the concept of cost-plus contracts, where the contractors make more money the more they spend. There's no incentive to build anything for a reasonable cost, and no incentive not to keep piling on the extensions and overruns.

    So simple things, like better body armor and better defense for humvees and the cheap electronic ID-things mentioned in the article, which aren't sexy (but save lives), don't get the attention of the Big Contractors nor their political funders.

    I'm kinda surprised that Raytheon hasn't tried to stamp out the little guys ...

  • by quanticle (843097) on Friday February 09, 2007 @06:51PM (#17956110) Homepage

    Are the concepts behind the document equally worthless in your opinion?

    The concepts aren't worthless. Of course everyone should have the right to food, clothing, and other necessary goods. However, the methods used to enforce those rights usually lead to excessive centralization on the part of the government.

    Not to say that it always happens (just look at Scandinavia), but the methods used to enforce those rights must be carefully monitored to make sure that the system doesn't collapse into totalitarianism.

  • Re:Infantry proof (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:00PM (#17956272) Homepage Journal
    Your comment is neither here nor there. I said that military technology is falling behind, not that it was never useful or that it isn't superior in some situations. In the example I listed, GPS RECEIVERS were replaced with consumer models because the comsumer models are easier to acquire and use. That's despite the fact that they provide inferior information. The military may eventually provide hardened units that are as feature rich as the consumer models, but the consumer models will work just fine until that happens.

    Nothing you said changes that point.
  • by soft_guy (534437) on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:03PM (#17956328)

    If I recall correctly, it was a bunch of crybabying hippies that beat the US in Vietnam. Our killing prowess was far superior.

    I suspect the same type of individuals will be responsible for our failure in the Middle East.
    Both the Johnson and Nixon administrations had years to fight the war pretty much however the hell they wanted and they could not get the other side to give up. You can blame "the hippies" all you want, but "the hippies" aren't in charge of the US military, nor are they the President of the United States or the Secretary of State or the Defense Secretary. To take longer than WWII and spend more money and not able to win is totally incompetent and to blame "the hippies" is idiotic.

    The fact is that the US military are totally incompetent to win the kind of war we are in.
  • by dedo_jozef (660189) on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:29PM (#17956716)
    I live in an former communist country in Eastern Europe. We never lacked food or anything. Actually, the average man was better of in socialism than now. But we wanted freedom.
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['o.c' in gap]> on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:41PM (#17956890) Journal
    Indeed, that is the danger. It should be noted too that there are reasons why the Nordic countries have been so succsessful with socialism. One, they are quite culturally homogenous, so one never feels that outsiders are leaching off of them. Two, they have a culture of cooperation brought about by extremes of climate. That's my theory, anyway.
  • by servognome (738846) on Friday February 09, 2007 @09:12PM (#17957840)

    though this is yet another example of how damn effective gururla warfare is.
    Guerilla warfare is very effective as a political tool, it has limited military value. It's primary purpose is not to "win," it's to induce weariness in the enemy through disruption.

    the only time you tend to see terms like "dishonourable conduct" and "unfair tactics" is from the side that is not doing well.
    Or when one side plays by a set of rules and the other side doesn't. For example a US bomb killing 100 insurgents and 1 civilian is seen as a failure, while an insurgent car bomb that kills 100 civilians and 1 US soldier is seen as a victory.

    if you don't buy that it is effective, consider that the enemy, armed with AK-47s, RPGs, high explosives, and dedication to their cause, are holding their own against what is likely the most expensive and advanced miltary in the world.
    Holding their own in the political sense that they still exist, which in practical terms is all they need. However, from a military perspective they have not had any significant victories over the US.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Friday February 09, 2007 @09:53PM (#17958152) Homepage Journal
    You know why? It was his. He bought it with his money. If it broke, he didn't get issued another one. People take better care of stuff they have to buy with their own money. The IT dept in my company can show you a shelf full of busted laptops that never went to Iraq and never made 18 months.

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