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Will America Patrol Iraq in Tanks?

Aug 17, 2007
Why doesn't America patrol Iraq in tanks? Canada had the same problem as USA regarding soldier deaths but now dominates in Afghanistan since we began patrol in tanks. The site of a column of tanks has totally belittled the Taliban and Iraq tactics they thought would work against Canada. Thankfully our Prime Minster is not a fool and therefore acted quickly. I really do not blame those Americans that want out. The many American deaths are discouraging. So why not bring in tanks to move about and hold parameters? I doubt IDE or suicide bomber can touch a tank. Not likely to the point of destroying it wholly and its occupants. The insurgents would need bigger guns to take out tanks and that would just make them stick out and easier to take out.

Answer. We do have tanks in Iraq (and Afghanistan, and Kosovo, and Bosnia). Lot's of them. Tanks are useful on certain types of patrols, and are worthless on certain other types of patrols. First and foremost, we simply don't have enough tanks to do all the patrols (a single tank costs at least a couple of million dollars). Secondly, we don't have enough trained tank drivers to do all the patrols (it's not like driving a car).

Finally, tanks are valuable for certain type of patrols, but not all. Can you imagine if the police officers in your town had to patrol using tanks? Tanks are well-armored and have a lot of fire power, but not really designed for patrolling the streets to enforce the law (can you imagine a high speed pursuit in a tank?). The bad guys would have a field day, if all patrols were in a tank. Shoot, blow things up, and then run away at 80 MPH, while the tank patrols muddle along at 10 MPH.

We've come a long way in armoring our Humvees (the primary vehicle) and have fewer deaths for those operating in those. However, in order to effectively patrol, sooner or later, you have to get out of the vehicle (if you're manning a security checkpoint, for example, checking IDs, you can't effectively do that from the inside of a Humvee, or a tank. If you're patrolling the streets, sooner or later you have to get out of your vehicle to check inside buildings or to question people who may look suspicious.

Supplies cannot be transported (in very large quantities) in tanks. Troops cannot be moved (in large quantities) from one area to another in tanks. Tanks don't have room for passengers.

In Afghanistan, Canada has had a much higher combat death rate, per 10,000 military personnel, than has the United States in the same combat theater. Canada has (as of Aug 2006, the latest statistics I could find) has lost 4.0 soldiers per 10,000 of its total force in Afghanistan; by comparison, the US lost 2.8 soldiers per 10,000, during the same period, or only about 70% of the Canadian rate. All of Europe, including the UK, lost about one-half of one soldier per 10,000 of its active military forces.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.WarGear.info/. WarGear.info carries the best selection of military clothing, war gear, and combat accessories on the market.
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