Defending America: A rigged rifle test?
Sticking to one's guns usually is admirable. But that's not the case when the Army rigs testing to stick with the latest iteration of its M4 carbine — despite results showing there's a potentially better rifle for combat soldiers on the front lines.
A confidential military report obtained by The Washington Times says the testing showed one of eight unidentified competing rifles was more reliable, firing more rounds before common failures occurred, than the M4A1. The report also says the Army switched in midstream to ammunition “tailored” for the M4A1, then abruptly canceled the testing. An Army statement even insisted that “no competitor demonstrated a significant improvement in weapon reliability.”
The M4's rapid-fire reliability issues long have been known; soldiers who've used the M4 in intense combat say it's so prone to jamming and needs such constant cleaning that many rebuild their M4s with better parts. Such criticism from the ranks led Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and others in Congress to demand the testing.
Mr. Coburn is outraged that a Department of Defense inspector general's report said the rifle testing wasn't needed because of the M4A1's improvements over the basic M4. But the greater outrage is the Army keeping the best possible rifle out of the hands of its soldiers, who deserve the best possible equipment as they defend America.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.