Operation Iraqi Freedom

UPDATED 2:00 pm Tuesday with detailed 2015 budget figures

WASHINGTON: The 2015 budget effectively kills the Army’s top priority weapons program, the 60-plus-ton Ground Combat Vehicle — as we’ve been predicting since November — but GCV did not die in vain, the Army’s acquisition chief insists.

“We sacrificed the GCV” to save programs upgrading electronics on existing vehicles, assistant secretary Heidi Shyu said last week at a Bloomberg conference. That doesn’t mean Army information technology will escape unscathed when the budget is released tomorrow, or that the service will stop investing in new vehicles.

On the “cut” side of the equation, Shyu has emphasized in a string of recent appearances that the service will take a hit to each of its three largest investment portfolios: aviation, mission command electronics, and ground combat systems, in that order. (The fourth largest, science and technology, is being protected as what Shyu calls “seed corn” for the post-sequestration future).

[UPDATED: With the Army’s 2015 budget request, Science & Technology has vaulted into third place while ground combat systems has dropped out of the top three altogether. Out of a $20.1 billion request for fiscal ’15 modernization programs, the service allocates a whopping 25 percent to aviation, a half-billion-dollar increase from what was enacted in fiscal year 2014, buying 191 helicopters of various types. Aviation’s share is more than double either the 12 percent allocated to “mission command” or the 11 percent for science & technology. Ground combat equipment trails at a mere nine percent.]

The difference is that aviation and ground combat are sacrificing high-profile vehicles — the stillborn Armed Aerial Scout helicopter and the GCV respectively — but mission command will simply buy smaller quantities of networking gear, radios, and so on, rather than kill off an entire major program.

[UPDATED: Overall, the Army is requesting a half-billion more for communications & other electronics than it got last year: $3.29 billion requested for ’15 versus $3.23 billion enacted in ’14. (The original request for 2014, however, was a billion dollars higher, $4.3 billion). Within that portfolio

On the “keep” side, Shyu has repeatedly mentioned two programs to replace existing and highly vulnerable support vehicles: the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), a new wheeled truck to replace the Humvee, and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), a tracked machine to replace the current range of armored ambulances, mobile command posts, and the like. (See pg. 2 of the RFP for the full list.) Those tracked support vehicles are currently all variants of the Vietnam-vintage M113, which proved so vulnerable in Iraq that commanders eventually stopped letting it drive off base.

While JLTV is well along, with the Army now testing more than 60 vehicles of three competing designs, AMPV is still in the Request For Proposal stage. That doesn’t necessarily make it vulnerable, however. I caught Shyu after her public remarks at the recent Association of the US Army conference and asked if the GCV’s demise made its little brother, AMPV, all the more important to the Army. Her characteristically blunt answer: “Yes.”

[UPDATED: The AMPV budget nearly triples in today’s request, from $28 million in ’14 to $92 million for ’15, as the program moves from a concept to an actual competition among contractors. JLTV has $210 million to complete the current test phase and buy 176 vehicles from whoever the winner ends up being.]

Since both the new JLTV and prospective AMPV are support vehicles, however, the burden of frontline combat will fall on 1980s-vintage machines, principally the M2 Bradley troop carrier — which GCV would have replaced — and the M1 Abrams tank. Since 9/11, both Abrams and Bradleys have been repeatedly upgraded with more armor, more sensors, more computers, and more jammers to defeat roadside bombs. Now they’re “kind of maxed out,” Shyu said at the McAleese conference, with no room, horsepower, or electrical capacity for further upgrades: “We have to buy space, weight, and power back.”

[UPDATED: Upgrades to Abrams, Bradley, and other existing vehicles such as the M109 Paladin howitzer and 8-wheel-drive Stryker total $1.4 billion in the 2015 budget request].

But why not defer such incremental upgrades to existing systems — known as “engineering change proposals” or ECPs — and focus on building something new that’s designed from the ground up for 21st century warfare, like the Ground Combat Vehicle?

The Army still wants something GCV-like, eventually. “If you talk to our warfighter… they feel that from the lessons learned from the last decade of war we need the capability the GCV provides,” Shyu said. “That requirement hasn’t gone away. It’s strictly [a matter of] affordability due to sequestration.”

“Our choice literally was, do we cut the money out of the GCV [or] not fund any of the ECPs on our existing platforms,” Shyu told the McAleese conference. But a new vehicle can’t be fielded overnight at any price, and “there’s nobody guaranteeing me that Army’s not going to fight for the next seven years,” Shyu said. “[I can’t] put a freeze on our existing platforms and just go for the next generation.”

“That was the trade space we were in,” Shyu summed up. “It’s not a pretty place to be.”


  • James Hedman

    I absolutely revel in these strangulations of the military/congressional/industrial complex. We have no business policing the world. All we require is a Navy to protect our shores and an Army big enough to provide a professional cadre to train National Guard units. Cutting the pentagon budget by 2/3rd sounds about right to me.

    We are essentially bankrupt and the only number you need to know is that there has to be a combined increase in taxes and/or reduction in spending of 35% to get us back on an even keel. I say let the military/police state (Homeland Security, NSA, CIA, etc..) take the brunt of the cuts. It’s not like Canada or Mexico is going to invade us militarily. Put a much reduced Army on the Mexican border to eliminate the hordes of illegal aliens and keep enough strategic nukes around to ensure no one dares attack us without suffering massive retaliation.

    The foreign policy of Bob Taft and the America First movement should be our guiding light. Ground wars on other continents should be made militarily impossible due to lack of resources to do so. Put the war-mongers and fascistic federal police agencies back to doing honest work.

    • Mike

      Fight them over there when they are small or fight them on our shores when they are big… It really is that simple…… Did you ever serve your country?

      That said, it would not hurt to build some bases and station those returning units to the Mexican border along with halting the movement of Mexican built appliances into the our country and begin building them again in those closed American plants… There are a lot of veterans looking for jobs as we reduce after Iraq and Afghanistan…..

      • Don Bacon

        It’s true — the US was totally unsuccessful in Vietnam and Iraq and now there are big bunches of Vietnamese and Iraqis in southern California.

        • Mike

          Actually NATO and the EU worked out quite well….. And now surprise, surprise look at all the nations of Eastern Europe that are joining and wanting to join which puts knots in Vlad’s shorts… Of course we could have brought everyone home from Europe.Then when the Russians came through the gap we could have started all over with another Normandy…..

          • Don Bacon

            Actually Putin is in the driver’s seat again, as with Syria, and the US will end up with the short straw yet again. But keep pawing through that pile, there’s a pony in there somewhere.

          • Mike

            Sorry Don, but while I agree with a lot of what you say, history shows that on that point, you are full of Crap!…

            Saw a funny cartoon today… A Republican was screaming at Obama telling him that Putin “was out bare chesting him”…. On the other side of the cartoon was a bunch of falling dominoes filled with people… The dominoes where titled Lithuanian, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, etc, etc and at the very end was a bare chested Putin trying to hold back the most recent domino called Ukraine…

            Personally, I think Putin is having a “mid-life crisis” and we need to send him some of our overpriced Testosterone supplements…

          • Don Bacon

            Hold the supplements, the US Congress is putting together a billion-dollar contribution to the new illegal fascist “government” of Ukraine. The money is meant to enable Ukraine to pay its energy bill. Guess what country Ukraine owes the money to. What country provides Ukraine’s natural gas, and half of the gas throughout Europe for that matter. — You got it, Russia.

            The illegal Ukraine “government” owes a ton of money and actually wants twenty billion to pay off debts. Russia previously had a deal to provide fifteen billion, but that will now have to come from the EU. That’s the same organization that State’s Victoria Nuland attacked with her infamous “F**k the EU” intercepted phone message. The EU is pretty broke itself, and not about to help the fascists that have taken over in Kyev. Germany like Rusia more then it likes fascists, these days. Etc.

            Mike, you really need to get beyond cartoons.

          • Mike

            I’m aware of every bit of what you said….And yet the markets went parabolic today….. Hmmm Just one Russian dictator who blinked, hmmm

          • James Hedman

            Right you are. It’s funny how during the Cold War we explicitly honored Russia’s sphere of influence but now we don’t. This whole kerfluffle is a clear case of force majeure. Moscow protects its interests in the Ukraine and Crimea as it has done for centuries and we run around and squawk like a bunch of chickens with a fox in the barnyard. We aren’t going to do jack shit.

            If we cut off Russian access to international money markets they will simply cut off the natural gas to Central Europe, which by the way, the Germans will not go along with.

          • James Hedman

            The Germans and French are rich industrial countries more than wealthy enough to take care of their own defence. Why must the American taxpayer continue to be bled dry for 70 odd years to protect them?

            Let Germany and Japan re-arm and let them take care of their own regional interests. That alone will cool the jets of the Russians and Chinese big time.

      • James Hedman

        “Did you ever serve your country?”

        You’re damn straight I did. 13 months in Vietnam outside the wire doing minesweeps and EOD. We were up and about at zero dark thirty while most grunts were still asleep.

        That whole wheeze about fighting them over there before they get here is total horse manure.

        When did the Iraqis or ever threaten an invasion of the US? ***NEVER***. Orders of magnitude more numbers of people have been killed in Iraq than if we had just left Saddam in power.

        When did the Pashtun goat-herding bandits ever even consider invading North America in their wildest dreams? ***NEVER***.

        All they did was provide a safe haven for a few dozen Arabs to stage an attack. We should have been in and out of Afghanistan in about three months.

        Who cares if one Arab potentate, Saddam, decides to take over the oil fields of another Arab potentate, the King of Arabia and his thoroughly corrupt royal family, during the First Gulf War? When was our former ally Saddam going to invade the US? ***NEVER***. The world buys oil from whoever has it regardless of politics.

        When was there an imminent threat of the invasion of the US by Grenada? Don’t make me laugh. ***NEVER***

        As for the rest of our many incursions upon Central American countries in support of colonialist US corporate interests I suggest you read Marine General Smedley Butler’s book: War Is A Racket.
        When did those countries threaten to invade the US? ***NEVER***

        When were Arab militants in Lebanon going to invade the U.S.? ***NEVER***, and so we got out.

        When exactly was North Vietnam about to launch and invasion of the US? ***NEVER***

        How and when were the North Koreans about to invade the United States in 1950? ***NEVER***

        When was the US ever threatened by invasion by China? ***NEVER***. Yet we patrolled the rivers of China with gunboats for decades on end in order to protect the British opium trade.

        What business was it of ours to intervene in WWI? When did Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire threaten to invade the United States? ***NEVER***

        When we consented to go along with England and France in unjustly blaming Germany for the ghastly error of WWI and impose territorial losses and ruinously unfair war reparations we created righteous indignation among the German people that led them into voting Hitler into power? When did Hitler ever threaten to attack the US in 1938 and 1939 when he went about getting his territories back? ***NEVER**

        It was only after the Japanese attacked British and American colonies under severe economic provocation by FDR and our undeclared war against Germany in the North Atlantic did war with Germany happen.

        When did Spain threaten to invade the United States in 1898? ***NEVER*** yet we trumped up all sorts of lies to justify invasion of their colonies just like we trumped up all sorts of lies about the so-called Gulf of Tonkin “incident” to justify invading Vietnam just like the lies about the phantom WMD’s that were supposed to justify our murderous war of aggression in Iraq.

        When did the Filipinos ever threaten to invade the United States? ***NEVER***. Yet we waged war upon the rebellious population after we took over from Spain and used water-boarding and mass slaughter of civilians for the better part of a decade.

        When did the Confederacy ever threaten to invade the Northern States? ***Never***

        When did Mexico ever threaten to invade the US? ***NEVER*** They principally objected to the soveriegn country of Texas claiming it’s border extended to the banks of the Rio Grande in Colorado and New Mexico. The Polk administration never refuted Mexican claims that the Texas border stopped at the Nueces River.

        Your argument is full of shit. We are a continental power that has ***NEVER*** been under threat of invasion for the last 200 years yet we go around the world killing and destroying in places where it is none of our g-d business.

        I say strangle the Pentagon budget now and don’t give the war-mongering bastards the means to keep attacking everybody else.

        • Mike

          Well, what do you know a couple of old Vietnam Era Grunts who disagree….. I was before you when we could chase the bastards down over the border…. I volunteered in 63…

          We did strangle the military after WW-l and just about had to fight them on our coast in WW-ll…. And heaven help the poor bastards that served our first combat operations in North Africa, where we got our butts handed back to us….

          We are one the top of the pile and if we do not defend it, we won’t have it for long. Freedom is NOT Free…

          • James Hedman

            We did fight them right off the coast in WWII. By that time we had no choice. I remember my Mom telling me about watching burning tankers off the coast of NJ & FL and my father did sentry duty walking the beach armed with a baseball bat sized wooden baton when he was doing training (rifles being in short supply then.) It’s signed by everybody in his Army Air Corps training unit including Clark Gable who according to my Dad was truly a regular guy and always made sure he stood everyone a round of drinks whenever they had liberty. I should have it appraised on Antiques Road Show although I’d never consider parting with it.

            In 1942 the Army got their asses kicked at the Kasserine Pass but the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal were the ones who did the kicking.

          • Mike

            1st Marine paid heavily for that “learning curve” at Guadalcanal, as did the troops at the Kasserine Pass… We still did not learn the lesson of WW-ll as we had virtually nothing to send into Korea except a bunch of clerks, some of whom had not even fired an M-1…. Then we sent the 25th (Jungle Fighters) from Hawaii to the frozen mountains of Korea rather than the 10th Mountain Division from Fort Hale?
            I remember watching a film in E&E training made by a gutsy American photographer in those hills south of the Yalu River, taking pictures of the Chinese using the same tactics and mules (that the 10th used) in an attempt to encircle the 25th as it was retreating South… Thank God “Chesty” was willing to “attack from all sides”…..

            After Korea we stayed more prepared (at great cost) and, in my opinion, that kept the Russians from using the equipment we gave them in WW-ll from coming after us…

            Our experiences in Vietnam were part of that doctrine…. And it was working, until Kennedy was killed and the borders were closed giving them “Sanctuary” in Cambodia and Laos, just like Korea, North of the Yalu..

        • ycplum

          Your perspective does have some merit, although I disagree that the military should strictly be limited to a trheat to US soil. I feel that we need to meet our treaty obligations with allies and that our startegic interests can be threatened without actually being invaded. However, I would most definately agree that the military has been over used.

          One other point, you would probably have more credibility if you make less historic mistakes or simplifications.

          1. When did the Pashtun goat-herding ….

          They didn’t, but the Talban leader insisted on harboring Osama bin Laden. Our failure to stabilize the region (we had a national election and thought they will live happily ever after) and Al Queda (and Al Queda friendly factions) threaten to take back control of parts of the country.

          2. Who cares if one Arab potentate, Saddam, decides to take over the oil fields …..

          His control of oil would allow him to restart his nuclear weapons research as well as blackmail the western world economically.

          3. When did Hitler ever threaten to attack the US in 1938 and 1939 when he went about getting his territories back?

          Most of those territories have been passed back and forth for centuries. Furthermore, Chechoslavakia was never German.

          Also, it was Nazi Germany that declared war on the US. We declared war on them only after they did.

          4. We are a continental power that has ***NEVER*** been under threat of invasion for the last 200 years….

          Pancho Via briefly invaded the US and Pershing and Patton unsuccessfully chased him, but admittedly, he was pretty much a bandit.
          However, just inside 200 years ago. The British invaded and burned Washington DC (aug 1814) in the War of 1812.

          • James Hedman

            I kew someone would bring up Pancho Villa and yes the war of 1812 wasn’t precisely 200 years ago but you are engaging in silly nit-picking.

            As for our Nato and Asian commitments, these are results of WWII and we should have been extracting ourselves from these lo these past 70 years. I’m sick and tired of paying for the defense of rich countries like Germany and Japan while we wallow in economic stagnation and outright decline in real wages for actual American citizens.

            When I was a young man foreign trade only accounted for 7% of GDP. Globalism is a curse upon us and an excuse for the forces of global capital to rule us all and reduce us to the wage levels of the Third World. We should be negotiating with our allies to extricate ourselves from these commitments to global conflict on their behalf.

            If anyone is unnecessarily worried about Russia or China the very idea of the former Axis powers re-arming should eliminate their concerns and put the fear of God into both the Ivans and Chinamen.

            These things are going to happen anyway as we are dead broke. I’m glad the military is finally seeing the writing on the wall. Even the Iron Triangle of our militaristic “defense” community can’t survive the ridiculous spending levels it now enjoys.

            Washington warned us about foreign entanglements and Eisenhower warned us about the stranglehold of military spending choking our nation. In the light of losing four major wars since 1945 we should be heeding their advice.

          • ycplum

            While I agree that that our military expenditure is excessive, I do not agree that we need or should slash everything. I blame this on a lack of National Policy and Strategic planning, which leaves teh military trying to prepare for everything. And, something that can do everything often cost much more than several tools to cover the same tasks.
            The basis of all national power (be it cultural, technical, politcial, or military) is economic power. Our economy is a global economy so that global issues are of national interest. Our economy is bigger and our standard of living is what it is because of global trade. As Germany and Japan grew richer, so did the US with trade with them.
            While I do not see the Russians or Chinese as bogeymen, I do she them as a potential threat to our interests. Too many still see a Cold War adversary. They may not be an ideological adversary, they have their own interests and goals, some of which may be in conflict with ours and some are in line.
            Our military posture is fundamentally offensive since it is better to fight a war on someone elses soil than here. However, I would agree that it is geared too highly, two major conflicts, when we should be more geared toward deployment for smaller conflicts. What is often left unsaid is that we also need to focus more on weilding soft power. Too often, we resort to the military without even a game plan on how the military fits into the overall solution.
            Washington’s warning was for a young nation, not a superpower. With that said, I believe we have taken on too much unilateral action.
            As for “losing four major wars”, how much of that was because of the military and how much was due to a lack of a coherent (diplomatic and military) strategy from our national leaders? Too often, our biggest enemy isn’t our actual enemy, but our own hubris. We think unfocused military power and money alone is enough to solve problems and our tendency for mission creep.

          • James Hedman

            “Our economy is bigger and our standard of living is what it is because of global trade.”

            I disagree. Globalism has been an unmitigated disaster for US workers. We drop tariffs unilaterally while letting the trading “partner” keep theirs. This is blatantly unfair and the result has been the stagnation of real wages for the last 40 years.

            Like Ross Perot cogently said, NAFTA is just a big sucking sound of US jobs getting flushed south. People have to get it through their thick heads that big capital wants nothing more than to to turn the US into a Third World country with labor as cheap as possible. They are greedheads and have no sympathy whatsoever with their fellow citizens.

          • ycplum

            There may be problems with the NAFTA itself, but your opinion would be the vast minority with regards to global trade amongst actual economist. I don’t put much bank on the politicians and pundits.

          • James Hedman

            That US wages have remained stagnant is fact not opinion. They have actually declined a bit since 2008. If you use the real inflation rate rather than the government’s jiggered numbers things look even worse.


          • ycplum

            I agree that wage stagnation is not an opinion. However attributing global trade to that stagnation is an opinion. It is much more complicated than taht. It also has to do with our over spending (both personal and national), our wars, our schizophrenic economic policies and arguably the degree of partisan poltics that have ground our government to a halt.

          • James Hedman

            Don’t forget our borders which are illegally kept open and undefended and our immigration laws which are illegally ignored by our own government.

          • ycplum

            That is seperate from global trade. That is an immigration issue. While I believe the US shopuld secure its border as a matter of principle, I do not believe we should be so focused on illegal immigrants. I feel we should secure our borders and totally revamp our byzantine immigration laws. The illegal immigrants is a symptom of the desease, not the desease itself.

          • James Hedman

            It is not separate in the least. It is all part and parcel of an unholy alliance of big business and government bureaucrats against the American worker. International trade can sometimes be good but not when it is unfair trade where our trading partner gets to keep their tariffs but we eliminate ours. Neither is international trade a good idea when we export raw materials instead of finished goods as is the case when we export raw logs to Japan but they refuse to import milled lumber.

            Our trade agreements and the conferring of “most favored nation” status to countries that continue to provide government subsidies to their companies, refuse to incur the costs of environmental and workplace safety laws that we do, keep our products out by imposing arbitrary import quotas and custom delays, and get to keep their tariffs while we abandon ours are NOT examples of global trade that helps us in any way whatsoever.

          • ycplum

            Then the problem is poor trade agreements rather than global trade according to what you just said, which is very dfferent from what you said earlier.

            Another issue is our glamorization with quick money. Historically, the USA innovated and produced whole new industries. Over time, these industries became mature and low tech, considered “factory work”. These industries went overseas. That was alright since our innovative spirit created better paying industries and jobs. However that was cut short by the massive cutbacks in education and basic research funding in the early 80’s (with the exception of a few specific sectors). Simultaneously, we shifted to a new industry, teh financial industry. Ratehr tha producing tangible products, we produced “financial products”. We had the “Greed is GOOD” mentality. I would argue that (and badly managed wars) is the main reason for were we are today.


          • James Hedman

            No it’s not different. The vast majority of our trade agreements are one-sided and against us not for us.

            “Over time, these industries became mature and low tech, considered “factory work”. These industries went overseas. That was alright since our innovative spirit created better paying industries and jobs.”

            No it’s not alright. Japan, Germany, and Sweden all have strong industrial economies and good paying factory jobs. Our industries are not better paying, they are gone. There is nothing low tech about running automated factories or programming and/or operating sophisticated CNC machines.

            We have become a nation of bankers and burger flippers and it’s getting worse each year.

          • ycplum

            If you say theat our agreements are one sided, it it the global trade’s fault or our own?

            Also, you reading skills need work. I said, “mature and low tech, considered “factory work””. I did not say “hi-tech skilled labor factory work”.

          • James Hedman

            As robotic production increases at a hyperbolic rate there will be very little work available for the vast majority of the world’s population. That is the real problem we face.

          • ycplum

            Robots can not design. Robots can not program. Robots can not solve complex problems social, medical, political or envrionemntal problems. And for the immediate future, robots can not offer personal services.

          • James Hedman

            Like I said, it’s a real problem when all we really need are a handful of engineers.

          • ycplum

            I am one. I’ll be genrous and say we can use a few scientists also. lol

          • Gary Church

            Y is a contrarian James- he will disagree with whatever you say till it gets absurd. I do not play his game anymore. You have been warned.

  • Don Bacon

    On the upgrades to the Bradley which Shyu says caused it to be “kind of maxed out,” check out this entertaining video.

    • Mike

      Actually rather sad, but very true…… Where were the combat experienced Infantry leaders when we needed them….

      • James Hedman

        They are all mandatorily retired after 20 as O-5s or 6s. Personally, I always preferred riding in the back of a 5-ton dump truck than in an ACAV, Amtrak, 6by or, God forbid, a chopper.

        • Mike


    • paulrevere01

      outstanding clip Don…the entire feature is on YouTube also.

      “My time at the Pentagon 83-86, believe it or not, this really happened”

      My tired old ass is so sick of exposing this ‘thing’ that has morphed into the ‘thing’ that ate the planet, without a trace.

      ‘What, who US? We’re defending the whole world from godless commies and handin’ it handily, in secret, invisibly, to the corpses’.

      Easy livin’…

      • Gary Church

        Israeli’s transport their troops in converted older tanks. We did the same thing in World War 2; took the turrets off shermans and called them Kangaroos but nobody really remembers that even though it was a much better idea than aluminum APC’s. All we need to do with the M-1 is put a diesel in it and take the turret off, add a blockhouse on top and we have our ground combat vehicle they just canceled. I saw brain injured soldiers on cargo planes several times when I was….doing stuff as a contractor. Never forget they were riding around in humvees when it did not have to be that way. Never forgive.
        My tired old ass is sick of these idiots also.

  • madskills

    It’s incredible what’s happening. Because we decide not to keep a progressive tax structure in this country, we will not even let the military grow at the rate of inflation. We are still using a rifle developed in the 60s, and now bringing back a cartridge and weapon 111 years old. Still using vehicles and helicopters some developed in the 50s/60s. We need realistic new weapons and systems. Otherwise we get guys killed who shouldn’t be killed.

    • James Hedman

      The 9mm Luger was adopted by the German Navy in 1904 and the 9mm Beretta was adopted by the US military in the 1980’s. What exactly are you talking about? The FMJ .45 ACP round is superior to the FMJ 9mm in every way and we are forced by the Geneva Convention we signed to continue to use FMJ rounds. You can’t argue with basic physics.

      Who cares about pistols anyway. They are primarily last ditch defensive weapons and/or badges of rank.

      • madskills

        I read the Marines are bringing back the .45. I find the .45 jumps around too much for my taste, maybe not yours. If you hit were you aim okay, but….

        • James Hedman

          The H&K USP .45 is pretty soft shooting due to its sophisticated recoil system although it is big and bulky and best suited to folks with large hands. Other .45s with a lower bore axis don’t jump around as much either. Like I said, it doesn’t much matter. Wars aren’t fought and won with pistols.

          • Gary Church

            Pistols are good for executing prisoners or committing suicide. I always liked shooting the M-16 because it did not kick but cleaning it constantly really sucked. Dirtiest gun ever made. We would have been better off doing what the Israeli’s did and just copying the AK in 5.56. The IDF has some good equipment. Their tank can carry a fire team if necessary and they convert their old tanks into heavy troop transports. We are not that smart? Makes me mad after all the IED casualties.