First, the good news.
A reporter based in Kabul reached out to some military bloggers, some with first-hand experience in Afghanistan, bounce a thesis about for comment:
“non-US coalition partners (Canada included) are taking casualities because they simply are not driving vehicles that are effective against the IED”
Several people, myself included, shared information, much of it detailed, all in context, saying it’s not quite as simple as the thesis makes it look.
Now, for the bad news.
After thanking all for their input, here’s what he wrote:
Canadian reporter Michelle Lang spent her last moments in a Canadian Light Armored Vehicle rolling down a muddy path in Kandahar province on the day before New Year’s Eve.
The improvised explosive device that killed Lang and four Canadian soldiers flipped the 23-ton LAV upside down, according to the Canwest News Service, Lang’s employer. The Canadian LAV-III and LAV-25 closely resemble the American Stryker, an armored vehicle that U.S. soldiers have nicknamed the “Kevlar coffin.”
In Iraq and now in Afghanistan, the U.S. military has battled to keep pace as insurgents have devised IEDs that are big or sophisticated enough to cripple or destroy even the biggest American armored vehicles, the 33-ton Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle.
The MRAP, however, is still far superior to less heavily armored vehicles such as the Stryker and the Canadian LAVs. No MRAP has ever lost its entire crew to an IED, and if Lang and the soldiers who died with her had been in one, it’s less likely that the bomb would have killed them all….
My colleagues, who were also consulted, were underwhelmed like I was:
“There are none so blind as those who will not see” (Mark Damian, The Torch) <my mistake – sorry Damian)
“Trial and Error” (Brian, Canada-Afghanistan blog)
My only additional comments are on this part:
…. No MRAP has ever lost its entire crew to an IED, and if Lang and the soldiers who died with her had been in one, it’s less likely that the bomb would have killed them all….
1) I re-emphasize the fact, as others smarter than I have mentioned, the bit in blue is NOT TRUE.
2) I wonder how comforting the bit in red is for the families of those killed in the incident in question?
I realize most reporters are trying far harder than this to get the best information and the best story out, but like cops, teachers, soldiers and other professionals, the group is often judged by the worst possible example.