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LAV Stryker

        The adoption of the General Dynamics/ General Motors LAV Stryker must qualify as one of the US Army's most controversial vehicle acquisitions. Since adoption by the US has caused many other nations to become interested in this or similar vehicles it is probably useful to examine this topic in some depth.

Tactical
        Finding credible data on the performance of the Stryker in the field is problematic. The Army is very keen that its new acquisition should only be seen in the best of lights. Testimonies of users must be taken in context. Some Soldiers will not criticize the vehicle for career reasons. All of the units converted to Strykers so far were formerly light infantry so their basis of comparison is with the HMMWV, not other armoured vehicles. Also Stryker-equipped troops know they are stuck with the vehicle for some time so psychologically some won't want to harbor doubts about what they must trust their lives to.

        Military vehicles are generally judged by the levels of Firepower, Protection and Mobility that they offer so we will start by looking at these aspects for the Stryker.

Firepower.
        Compared to many of its peers the Stryker is lightly armed. Most Strykers have a Kongsberg Protech
XM151 Remote Weapon Station (RWS) mounting either a .50 Machine gun or a 40mm Automatic Grenade launcher. Unlike some other designs of RWS there is no provision for reloading or feeding ammo to the weapon from within the vehicle. Once the ammo is expended a crewman must expose themselves to enemy fire to reload the weapon. The .50 version holds 200rds of ammo while the 40mm holds only 32 (there are proposals to increase this to 48).
        The Stryker does not have any firing ports but there are two hatches over the infantry compartment from each of which one man can fire. The Squad leader also has a hatch beside the RWS.
Stryker at www.armyrecognition.com
Top View of Stryker

        The firepower of Stryker companies was supposed to be increased by a Fire Support variant known as the Mobile Protected Gun system. This is essentially a wheeled tank destroyer mounting a 105mm gun in an unmanned turret. This variant has still not been fielded and the development of the system has been beset by numerous delays and technical problems. Critics voiced concerns as to whether such a vehicle could handle the recoil of such a weapon if fired to the side. The manufacturers released a photo of a prototype firing to the side but still visible in the photo was a metal bracket bracing the vehicle! GD claim these are control and monitoring cables, but judge for yourself and make your own mind up about what this appears to be.
        Whether the MGS will ever enter service is doubtful.

Protection.
        Advocates of the Stryker point out that its basic level of protection (against 14.5mm bullets) is higher than that of the basic M113, the vehicle to which the Stryker is most often compared. This is of little interest, however, since the main threat to vehicles is the RPG. Interestinly in Vietnam an RPG penetration of an M113 was estimated to have only a 0.8 chance of causing a single casualty. Only one in seven hits managed to penetrate, so the chances of each hit causing a single casualty was less than 12%. RPG rounds have been improved since then but so too has the armour designed to counter them. Strykers deployed to Iraq have been fitted with “Slat armour” to give them greater protection against RPGs. This is the same sort of bird cage armour that has been used with some success in Northern Ireland and Grozny.
        One of the first RPG attacks against a Stryker was in Mosul on the 28th March 2004 with the vehicle being written off by two hits. At least partially to blame was the equipment stored under the cage which ignited and the cage held the burning items, forming an efficient brazier. Since the Stryker needs Appliqué armour it is worth noting that such systems exist for other vehicles such as the M113 (although the US Army refuses to buy and field them. Some troops have improvised their own). Purpose-designed Appliqué armour can be seen on many Israeli M113s and not only protect against RPGs but increase ballistic protection up to a level to stop 23mm cannon rounds.
        Critics of the Stryker point to its large exposed wheels as being vulnerable to even relatively light weapons. The metal backing of the wheels behind the tires is not armoured. While these tires are “Run-flats” damage to one or more will still require the vehicle to return to base rather than continue with its mission. Information on specific attacks against wheels is not easy to come by but this seems to be a legitimate concern. Stryker companies in Iraq seem to be consuming tires at a staggering rate. I've seen estimates that this may be as high as at least one $1,000 wheel each day per company. This document confirms that the Stryker uses Michelin XML 12.00R20 tires while this one gives the 2006 Govt price of the tire as $1,452.45. The Stryker is considerably heavier than earlier models of this vehicle such as the Mowag Piranha and it is possible that the load is too much for the wheels. (Jane's Armour and Artillery 2002-2003 gives the weight of the proposed European MRAV as between 25t and 33t)

        One field where the Stryker does seem to have performed adequately is in resisting mine-damage. Many Strykers hit by mines have been able to limp home, or at the least the crews have survived with no fatalities. For units that are used to HMMWVs the improvement is obvious. Mine protection is a vehicle feature that has been greatly neglected by Armies in the Northern Hemisphere and many older designs of vehicles such as the Bradley, M113 and HMMWV have virtually no features to counter mine attack. In this article veteran tanker Ralph Zumbro suggests ways that this discrepancy can be addressed for tracked vehicles. While the Stryker is by no means as well-designed to resist mine attack as many Southern African designs at least some attention seems to have been paid to this problem although some of this capability may just be inherent to the boat-shaped hull and angled armoured wheel arches.
        A feature often praised by Stryker users is the suite of C4SI electronic and communication systems fitted to the vehicle and intended to increase situational awareness and navigational ability. There have, however been problems with these systems malfunctioning in the non-air conditioned environment inside the Strykers. Opponents of the Stryker make the reasonable argument that if these systems offer troops a combat advantage they should be retrofitted to other models of vehicle already in service. In fact it can be argued that by not adopting such a policy the Army is deliberately risking the lives of men in non-Stryker units in order to make the Stryker appear better.

Mobility.
        To many of its critics the Stryker's most controversial feature is the choice of a wheeled vehicle rather than a tracked one. According to established Dogma wheeled armoured vehicles offer several advantages over tracked. These include lower running costs, less maintenance and higher speed. Recent studies suggest that some of these assumptions are wrong or at least not so clear cut. Many previous studies have been poorly designed with Heavy Tanks being compared to much lighter trucks or armoured cars. Tracked vehicles tend to spend more time operating on rough terrain while wheeled vehicles are mainly used on roads. It is also true that some studies are simply out of date. Tracked vehicles have seen improvements in suspension and track design and experiments with economical and quieter hybrid electric drives. On the other hand wheeled systems for armoured vehicles seem to have gotten more complicated with systems to improve cross-country performance such as centralized tire pressure regulation.
        More recent studies indicate that for wheeled and tracked vehicles of similar weight there is less difference in running costs and maintenance than is commonly supposed. Wheeled vehicles seem to generally show better fuel economy for road operations but lose this advantage if they must be operated in rough country. For off-road operations tracked vehicles show equal if not superior fuel consumption and have less maintenance-related problems. As has already been noted, Strykers in Iraq are mainly being operated on roads yet wheel changing has become a common occurrence and some estimate that the running cost per mile is about five times higher than for similar tracked vehicle. It is worth pointing out here that tracked vehicles have greatly superior performance off-road both in the types of terrain they can cross and the speed at which they can cross it. Tracked vehicles also have advantages in more urban terrain since they can more easily cross rubble or crush barricades.

        A M1026 Stryker at 38,000lbs with XML 12.00R20 tires has an estimated ground pressure of 17.6 lbs/sqin. For comparisom a M1 Abrams is at 13.1-15.6 lbs/sqin and a M113 8.6 lbs/sqin. Generally as Vehicle Ground Pressure increases, cross country trafficability decreases. Vehicle Cone Index (VCI) is a more involved measure of mobility and indicated the minimun RCI (Relative Cone Index) or ground that will support the passage of one or more vehicles of that type. As a general rule of thumb, a lower VCI not only equates to better soft-soil mobility but also indicates better performance on slopes, in sandy terrain, over obstacles/ gap crossings and when overriding vegetation. Published VCI/VCI50 for an Abrams MBT is 25/58, for a M113 17/40, for a USMC LAV-25 32/72, for a M35 2.5 ton truck 26/59 and for a M998 HMMWV 20/47. (Note that these figures appear to be quite old and factors such as new armour, better power to weight rations and track upgrades may change the quoted values). Using the formulae in FM 5.430-00-1 the VCI/VCI50 for a 38,000lb M1026 Stryker (not including 5,500lb slat armour) works out as 32/78. Oddly this is the same VCI figure given for the much lighter (28,200lb) LAV-25.

        One advantage of the Stryker that is often touted by supporters is its greater speed. Speed has both tactical and operational benefits. On the operational level a unit that can move faster can reach an objective in a shorter time. On the tactical level moving faster can make you harder to hit.
        As discussed above, wheeled vehicles usually only show a speed advantage over tracked vehicles if they are operated on roads or good ground. However, roads are a predictable approach route and are likely to be mined or defended in some other manner. In some situations a slower moving unit traveling across country may be more likely to reach an objective than a faster moving one that attempts to use a road. In some parts of the world or for certain missions such as convoy escort there may be no choice but to have a force traveling by road. For such situations having vehicles that can at least keep up with the trucks they are escorting is an advantage. Track advocates point out that with new technologies such as bandtracks and more powerful hybrid electric drives tracked vehicles that can attain a road speed of 60mph+ are only a matter of time. Already in service we have Abrams tanks that can move at 45mph and the British Warrior IFV which can attain 50mph.
        As far as moving faster reduces the chances of being hit goes I think this is somewhat optimistic given that high velocity rounds and guided missiles are potential threats. Speed can only be used in terrain that permits it and on a road the course is easy to predict. Claims that wheeled vehicles are quieter than tracks also need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Although this may be the case neither is likely to allow you to creep up on someone. Many modern tracked vehicles can be fitted with bandtracks or steel tracks with rubber pads. These are both somewhat quieter than “traditional” all-steel tracks and less likely to damage road surfaces.
        While in theory the Stryker has a top road speed of 62mph in practice this cannot be attained. Several road accidents in Iraq have resulted in the Army forbidding drivers from exceeding 45mph. The first three casualties in a Stryker occurred when two Strykers tumbled into a canal and a crewman forgot to unlock the Slat armour. One crewman could not be reached before he drowned. The basic Stryker design has often been accused of being top heavy and it is possible that the addition of 5,500 pounds of Slat armour above the already high center of gravity has amplified this characteristic.
        The driving position of the Stryker may also contribute to problems. The driver has the choice of either driving head's up or under armour and using periscopes and a single forward looking TV screen. Neither of these options sound particularly ideal for high-speed driving and it is notable that many of the other wheeled armoured vehicles that can attain speeds of around 60mph (VAB, Fuchs, BTR, Saxon) have some form of windscreen giving both a forward and lateral view.

        The actual tactical niche of the Stryker is hard to determine. As I have discussed on this page it is a too aggressive looking vehicle for Peacekeeping operations and too lightly armed and armoured for more major conflicts. Problems with road-handling and the low practical speed make it a poor choice for convoy duty when compared to simpler cheaper options such as Guntrucks.
        The Army has claimed that it is an idea platform for urban operations but this statement defies logic. It is a large vehicle with a turning radius of 8 metres, making it difficult to maneuver in normal streets. It also lacks the obstacle and barricade crossing capability of a tracked vehicle. In close terrain enemies can easily approach close enough to target the tires and the lack of firing ports and limited number of roof hatches make it difficult to provide all-around defensive fire. While excellent weapons against personnel and soft skin vehicles .50 HMGs and 40mm Grenades are of only limited use against enemies protected by brick and concrete.

Strategic
        The main justification used for the adoption of the Stryker was that the US Army needed to form light/medium armoured brigades that could be deployed anywhere in the world within 96 hours. While this sounds like an admirable goal there are some very reasonable doubts as to whether the USAF has sufficient airlift capability to move a whole brigade within this
time frame. The Army estimates this will need the equivalent of 217 C-17 sorties but the Air force only has 120 C-17s worldwide, many of which will be deployed on other duties. Unlike the aircraft of many other nations the majority of the 600 C-130s in USAF service lack an in-flight refueling capability, limiting their range and how much load they can carry.

        Despite these problems it would be reasonable to expect that the vehicle selected for these Brigades would be capable of operating on a wide range terrain types and capable of being transported by C-130. The choice of the LAV Stryker as the Intermediate Light Armoured Vehicle (ILAV) is therefore quite baffling.
        Since the vehicle should be capable of operating anywhere in the world the election of a wheeled vehicle is surprising since the superiority of tracks over a wider variation of terrain types is beyond dispute.
        Although the Intermediate Light Armoured Vehicle (ILAV) was supposed to be an “off the shelf” design the Stryker has undergone an extensive and expensive program of modification and redesign. Manufacturers General Dynamics regard it as a separate generation from the Mowag Piranha and USMC LAV-25s on which it is based. While a LAV-25 costs $880,000 each Stryker costs $2,800,000.
        Most surprising ILAV feature of all is the vehicle weight. The first Stryker off the assembly line weighted 38,010 pounds and later vehicles have not got any lighter. The problematic MGS weighs considerably more.
        The USAF regards 36,500 lbs to be the maximum acceptable weight for a load in a C-130. The large size of the vehicle also causes problems. If fitted inside a C-130 there is insufficient room to allow for a crew-escape gangway past the vehicle so for this and other reasons transport of a LAV on a C-130 requires a special safety waver.
        For a Congressional test, the Army pulled off all external appurtenances like radio antennae, light brackets, siphoned out most of the fuel and removed everything they could carry like the M2 .50 caliber HMG and ammunition. Only one man was allowed to accompany the 11 man vehicle and the stripped down vehicle had to be rolled onto the C-130 since it had minimal fuel. The flight lasted 15 minutes. The Congressional Committee in attendance stated that the Stryker met its airworthiness test. To carry the weight of the Stryker the C-130 had to reduce its fuel load resulting in an aircraft that could fly less distance than the Stryker can travel on a full tank of gas!
        Once the real details of another display became public former House speaker Newt Gingrich has bitterly critical of the Army, calling such displays “a cheap stunt” and “a nice piece of public deception. The senior Army deliberately misled the Congress and the Secretary of Defense about air transportability”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63730-2004Aug13.html

        In “Inside the Army” Sept 30th 2002 Gingrich stated that
        'Stryker simply fails to meet the Army's self-imposed requirement of deployment via C-130. C-130 compatibility is critical for two reasons, he contends. “There is no other airplane available with the total lift and mobility of the C-130,” he states in the message. Furthermore, approximately 1,730 C-130s -- including 810 within the U.S. Defense Department and Coast Guard -- are owned by 68 countries across the globe; should the United States need assistance, “our allies can really help with theater mobility if it fits into a C-130,” Gingrich says.
        The C-130 requirement must be “non-negotiable” and, given that Stryker is not C-130 deployable, he states, the program should be terminated. If the department were to let the current contract run its course, it could outfit about one brigade and use it for testing purposes, Gingrich suggests.
        “It is impossible for this system to be funded in the next budget at levels requested. It has failed in ways which are not, repeat NOT, correctable,” he concludes.'

        The same article in Inside the Army notes that during the August Millennium Challenge '02 exercise during which five Strykers were flown on C-130s from Southern California to the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin. (Fort Irwin is also in Southern California, 37 miles from Barstow. Assuming that the origin of this flight was either Los Angeles or San Diego Airport this is a flight of around 200 miles).
        The article states:-
        “An Army summary of Stryker performance during Millennium Challenge noted that the Infantry Carrier Vehicle variant required multiple alterations to fit into a C-130: The crew removed two smoke grenade launchers, all antennas, a left rear bracket that blocked egress over the top of the vehicle, the Remote Weapons System and the third-row wheel's bump-stop. Reassembly upon landing took as long as 17 minutes, the memo stated (Inside the Army, Sept. 23, p1).”

        The Strykers that were deployed to Iraq were moved by Sea. Some were flown by C-17 and critics argue that such airlift capacity would have been better used to deploy more capable and useful vehicles such as Bradleys and MBTs.

        The stated reason for buying the Stryker was its ability to be Globally air-deployable by C-130 yet this is a capability that it clearly does not have.

Political
        One may wonder how a vehicle that meets so few of the stated requirements entered service. The following points are all public knowledge and the reader is invited to verify them independently.

        One of the key figures in the formation of the Interim Brigade Combat Teams and the selection of the Stryker for these units was Hawaiian-born then Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki (1999-2003).
        Facing criticism of the choice of the Stryker as the ILAV the Army organized a series of tests and trials intended to prove the Stryker was superior to other wheeled or tracked alternatives. These tests were widely criticized as being designed to favour the Stryker.
        A month before it was confirmed that General Dynamics had won the ILAV the director of the Army's Program Analysis and Evaluation, Major General David K. Heebner retired to work for General Dynamics.
        General Jack Keane was General Shinseki's Vice Chief of Staff. Upon retirement General Keane went to work for
General Dynamics alongside General Heebner.
General Dynamics Press Release
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0WUB/is_1999_Nov_22/ai_57758966
http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0107-01.htm
General Keane Biography

        Prior to his retirement some observers expected Shinseki to run for the Senate representing Hawaii. Both the current senators, Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka are in their 80's and were vocal supporters of Shinseki.

Akaka praises appointment of Shinseki as Chief of Staff
Inouye praises appointment of Shinseki as Chief of Staff
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-babbin030603.asp
http://goldsea.com/Air/Issues/Shinseki/shinseki.html

        On his retirement Gen Shinseki joined the board of the First Hawaiian Bank and BancWest Corporation. Pacific Business News notes that the appointment “….. comes at a time when the military's impact on Hawaii economy is second only to tourism”. Whether Shinseki will run for Senate when Inouye or Akaka retire in the future remains to be seen.
        Approval for the Army to buy GD's Stryker was given by the Appropriations Committee lead by Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. Two of the first units to be converted to Strykers are stationed in Hawaii and Alaska.
        Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was the Chairman of the Land-Sea Sub-Committee of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. It was this sub-committee that was charged with approving the tests results between the Stryker and the M113. Santorum signed off on the Stryker victory thus costing his state of Pennsylvania 1,500 union jobs at United Defense in York, PA – the maker of the M113 FOV. Those jobs ultimately went to the GD/GMLS plant in London, Toronto, Canada. The Pennsylvania Nation Guard was awarded one Stryker Brigade in Senator Santorum's former state, the first National Guard unit to receive the Stryker. Senator Santorum was defeated for re-election presumably by the efforts of the workers he idled at York.
        States where Stryker Brigades are stationed receive Federal grants valued at $700 million each to develop facilities for the Brigades. Each Brigade is estimated to cost the Army $1.5 Billion.



        My thanks to those who supplied information for this article. My best wishes to the Soldiers placed in unnecessary danger by the greed and arrogance of Politicians and Generals.

Back to the Scrapboard


Sources and Resources

        The US Army and General Motors/General Dynamics have produced numerous articles showing the Stryker in a positive light. Since these are relatively easy to find I won't bother to list any here. The list below has been taken from a forum and mainly concentrates on alternate points of view. Comments of the Authors or Contributors have been retained.

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1. Medium Armored Vehicle (MAV); Interim Armored Vehicle (IAV)
GD and GM teamed in 1997 for a program that did not exist at the time – at least not publicly.
In the Website for the Federation of American Scientists, “DOD 101”, see this paragraph:
“Many observers regard the leading contender as the Light Armored Vehicle, currently in service with the United States Marine Corps. In 1997 General Dynamics Land Systems and General Motors' Diesel Division [DDGM] signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue the Canadian Armored Combat Vehicle Program (ACV). General Motors' Diesel Division in London, Ontario would be the prime contractor and provide the Light Armored Vehicle chassis. …”

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/mav.htm

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2. The Case for Army XXI 'Medium Weight' Aero-Motorized Divisions:
-- A Pathway to the Army of 2020
,
John Gordon IV and Peter A. Wilson, 27 May 1998,
-- Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

http://carlisle-www.army.mil/ssi/pubs/1998/aeromotr/aeromotr.pdf

        The date of this report, 1998, demonstrates that the 'justification' for the later Stryker program long preceded GEN Shinseki's promotion to CSA in 1999. The 'study' is seriously slanted, in that it purports to be an objective study (of the Army's needs and options for a light armored vehicle) but it is not objective.
        This disgrace to the Army pretends that the large fleet of existing light armored vehicles in the Army's inventory – the M113-series – does not exist.
        It also falsely equates the weight of ANY tracked vehicle with the medium weight Bradley series and the heavy weight M1 tank.

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3. "FSCS / TRACER: Wheels v. Tracks." Vugraph Presentation:
LTC Jack Reiff, DPM FSCS. 19 January 2000.
Results of the Joint US/UK Future Scout & Cavalry System / TRACER.

http://www.geocities.com/fscswheelsvstracks/sld001.htm

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4. Wheels vs. Tracks: A Rebuttal
(Rebuttal to Report #2, above.)
Don Loughlin, Revised 22-Jul-2000
This paper is a rebuttal to a 1998 US Army Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), Army War College, report: "The Case for Army XXI 'Medium Weight' Aero-Motorized Divisions
: A Pathway to the Army of 2020" , insofar as it deals with "Armored Fighting Vehicle Options."

http://www.defensedaily.com/reports/wheelsvtracks.htm

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5. IBCT “Armored Car” Acquisition Squanders Millions in Research Money,
Chester A. Kojro, LTC, AR, USAR (Ret)
LETTERS, ARMOR Magazine, July-August 2000, page 3

http://www.knox.army.mil/center/ocoa/ArmorMag/ja00/4letters00.pdf

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6. An Army in Transformation - The Wheeled Versus Tracked Question.
Bill Fisher. March 2001. US Army Management Staff College, Ft. Belvoir, VA.

http://www.combatreform2.com/gg010209r.htm

Scroll down past the Inside The Army article by Kim Burger (CLOSER REVIEW OF DATA SHOWS WHEELS NOT MORE RELIABLE THAN TRACKS) in order to get to Bill Fisher's article.
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7. Airmechanization
BG David A. Grange, US Army, Retired; LTC Richard D. Liebert, US Army Reserve; and MAJ Chuck Jarnot, US Army. July-August 2001, Military Review

http://www.leavenworth.army.mil/milrev/English/JulAug01/grange.htm

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8. Shinseki's Light Armor Scam --
Carlton Meyer, September 2001, G2mil Magazine

http://www.g2mil.com/Sept2001.htm

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9. Tankers Lose MOS Skills When Deployed in IBCT Units,
Chester A. Kojro, LTC, AR, USAR (Ret)
LETTERS, ARMOR Magazine, January-February 2002, page 4

http://www.knox.army.mil/center/ocoa/ArmorMag/jf02/1letters02.pdf

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10. Thoughts on the Tracked M113 Versus the Wheeled LAV,
Stanley C. Crist, and
Armor in LIC Article Offered Good Overview, Flawed Conclusion,
Chester A. Kojro, LTC, AR, USAR (Ret),
LETTERS, ARMOR Magazine, March-April 2002, page 3

http://www.knox.army.mil/center/ocoa/ArmorMag/ma02/2letters02.pdf

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11. Gingrich Tells Top DOD Officials Army's Stryker Shouldn't Be Fielded
Inside The Army, September 30, 2002, Pg. 1

http://www.combatreform2.com/gingrichstryker.htm

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12.  Light Armor For Full-Spectrum Operations
Stanley C. Crist, September 2002.

http://www.combatreform2.com/strykerprogram.htm

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13. Army Leadership and the Stryker Armored Car Program have failed 'Army Transformation'
Don Loughlin; 9 October 2002

http://www.combatreform2.com/gg021006a.htm

This is a two-part report, Parts A and B.
Part A is the Addendum released in October 2002, also containing Part B.
Part B, released in May 2002, had the earlier title: "The 'Shinseki Transformation Initiative' -- is a fiasco."
Both Parts A and B have extensive citations showing the source doc'ts.
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14. General Pols: Is the Army chief of staff running for office?
Jed Babbin, 6 March 2003, National Review Online

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-babbin030603.asp

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15. Billions wasted on new military vehicle?
-- Critics pan Army's 'Stryker' as poor alternative to tracked predecessors
Jon Dougherty, 4 June 2003, WorldNetDaily.com

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=32898

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16. Purge of the Princelings? -- Moving toward jointness.
Jed Babbin, 14 August 2003, National Review Online.

http://www.nationalreview.com/babbin/babbin081403.asp

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17. The Army's New Car Is A “Lemon”
Stryker Program - A Boondoggle
Shinseki And Heebner Crawl In Bed With General Dynamics

Lonnie T. Shoultz, 16 August 2003

http://www.militarycorruption.com/stryker.htm

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GENERAL DYNAMICS BUYS OFF GENERAL HEEBNER –
FAULTY “STRYKER” ARMORED VEHICLE
A VAST BOONDOGGLE – WHY ARE WE NOT SURPRISED?

By Lonnie T. Shoultz, 2003, month and day not shown.

A similar version of this article appeared in the Boston media on 9/11/2003. See –

http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display_any/16411/index.php

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Into Harm's Way with the Stryker (Guest Column)
DEFENSE WATCH: By Lonnie Shoultz, August 6, 2003

http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=DefenseWatch%20Archive.db&command=viewone&op=&id=188&rnd=457.62645404025045

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Additional information, similar to Mr. Shoultz' article above, may be found in –

http://www.geocities.com/paratroop2000/strykerhorrors.htm

(there is some redundancy.)
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18. Stryker Brigades Versus The Reality Of War –

Fundamental Concerns About The Stryker's Capabilities
In Combat When Evaluated Against Lessons Learned
From The Conflicts In Afghanistan, Iraq And Elsewhere.
Victor O'Reilly, date: 22 August 2003, prepared for Congressman Jim Saxton
Log onto:
http://www.cochraneinstitute.com/
and scroll down –
Or try:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/congress/2003_rpt/stryker_reality_of_war.pdf

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19. Preventable Deaths –
Enhancing the survivability of our soldiers, fundamental questions about the competence and lack (of) accountability of Army generals, and deep concern about the lack of civilian oversight and remedial action.

A report for Congress by Victor O'Reilly, 17 December 2003
Log onto:
http://www.cochraneinstitute.com/
and scroll down --
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20. The Army's Stryker: A Troublesome Mix of Revolving Door and Rush to Deploy
Eric Miller, Danielle Brian; Revised 7 January 2004
Project On Government Organization.
 
http://www.pogo.org/p/defense/da-040101-stryker.html

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21. Controversy Surrounds Army's Stryker
Jon E. Dougherty, 28 January 2004, NewsMax.com

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/1/28/151543.shtml

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Stryker: Army's Multimillion-Dollar 'Lemon,' or 'Excellent' Lemonade?
Jon E. Dougherty, NewsMax.com
Wednesday, March 3, 2004
See previous article, Controversy Surrounds Army's Stryker.
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22. Army Transformation Done Right
LTC Chester Kojro, U.S. Army, Ret'd,
From “Letters,” ARMOR Magazine, Jan-Feb 2004

http://www.combatreform2.com/gg040118a.htm

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23. Additional information relative to Mr. Shoultz' article in MilitaryCorruption.com (See Item 17)
may be found in an article in the February 2004 issue of National Defense Magazine:
Safe Harbors of Ethical Conduct Needed in Defense Procurement
James McAleese, February 2004
 
http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/article.cfm?Id=1347

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24. A CNN transcript: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT; Aired April 26, 2004 - 18:00   ET
Insurgents Break Cease-fire in Fallujah; LAX Vulnerable to Terrorism?
Opening statement by Lou Dobbs:
The U.S. Army is sending hundreds of armored Humvees to Iraq to protect troops from attacks by insurgents. But tonight, there are new fears that the armor on those reinforced Humvees is still inadequate to provide protection for our Soldiers.

http;//www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0404/26/ldt.00.html

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25.  More Armored Protection Urged for U.S. Troops
Jon E. Dougherty, NewsMax.com, Friday, Apr. 30, 2004
Lead Paragraph:
        Lightly protected vehicles in Iraq such as the Humvee and the U.S. Army's new wheeled Stryker are providing far too little protection for troops and should be replaced with heartier substitutes, senior military commanders have warned.
Roadside bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy automatic weapons are taking their toll on lightly-armored U.S. military vehicles and, worse, on the troops riding in them – despite Pentagon efforts to beef up protection.
Currently the Defense Department is hurrying to replace the thin-skinned Humvees with "up-armored" models as quickly as possible. According to the London Daily Telegraph, U.S. forces have added scrap armor plating, sandbags, flak jackets and anything else they could find to Humvees in the meantime, in an effort to afford themselves more protection.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/4/29/125714.shtml

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26. U.S. troops have the wrong tools
Lonnie Shoultz, Guest Columnist, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, May 5, 2004
Lead two paragraphs:
        While the dramas in Fallujah and Najaf come to a conclusion, the Army's soldiers are still riding the roads of Iraq in inferior armored vehicles while the better-protected armored personnel carriers are waiting for them in Kuwait.
        We're asking our troops to perform a job with the wrong tools, a mistake rooted in the 1999 decision by President Clinton's Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki to take the Army off tracks and put it on wheels. (Continued)

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/171859_armor05.html

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27. Tracks In Iraq
Michael L. Sparks and Roy S. Ardillo II; Soldier of Fortune Magazine; July 2004, beginning on page 64.
        The article advocates replacing the vulnerable Stryker armored cars and HMMWVs (Humvees) in Iraq with upgraded, light tracked M113 Armored Personnel Carriers that are already in the Army's inventory. The M113 APC is also known as the M113 'Gavin.'

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28. Statement of Colonel Douglas Macgregor, PhD, USA (ret.) 15 July 2004.
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on July 15, 2004 in 2118 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
“Army Transformation: Implications for the Future”
See:
http://www.house.gov/hasc/openingstatementsandpressreleases/108thcongress/04-07-15Macgregor.pdf

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29. “GAO Calls Stryker Too Heavy for Transport --
Weight of Armored Vehicle Cuts Flying Range of C-130 Aircraft, Congress Is Told”
By Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, August 14, 2004; Page A04
See:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63730-2004Aug13.html

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30. “The Killer Ride” , by John Higgs. August, 2004.
From Soldier of Fortune magazine. About 5 pages long. Good side by side comparison of wheels vs tracks.
See:
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0,13190,SOF_0804_Stryker,00.html


31. “Stryker Problems Highlight Testing Shortfalls,”
as printed in Defense News, November 1, 2004, p. 29
by POGO's Eric Miller, Sr. Defense Investigator
See:
http://www.pogo.org/p/defense/do-041101-stryker.html