Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The difference between "resistant" and "proof"...

...is lost on way too many people. Here is a prime example in this McClatchey story:
The deaths of two U.S. soldiers in western Baghdad last week have sparked concerns that Iraqi insurgents have developed a new weapon capable of striking what the U.S. military considers its most explosive-resistant vehicle.

The soldiers were riding in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protective vehicle, known as an MRAP, when an explosion sent a blast of super-heated metal through the MRAP's armor and into the vehicle, killing them both.

Their deaths brought to eight the number of American troops killed while riding in an MRAP, which was developed and deployed to Iraq last year after years of acrimony over light armor on the Army's workhorse vehicle, the Humvee.

The MRAP is designed to be resistant to explosives, not "bomb proof". You might be able to make a bomb proof vehicle, but it won't be going anywhere fast, and that would create all new security problems. While the military should investigate a recent spate of explosion deaths in the MRAP in order to be ahead of the game with insurgents, the eight deaths is hardly evidence that the vehicles are not doing their job. In fact, buried in the tenth and final paragraph of the story, the reporters acknowledge that of the 8 deaths, one was due to a roll over and two due to drowning.

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