Urbin Report

Monday, August 25, 2003

What The [Bleep] Is Going On In Iraq?

BAQOUBA, Iraq - An American soldier stands at the side of an Iraqi highway, puts his AK-47 on fully automatic and pulls the trigger.

Within seconds the assault rifle has blasted out 30 rounds. Puffs of dust dance in the air as the bullets smack into the scrubland dirt. Test fire complete.

U.S. troops in Iraq may not have found weapons of mass destruction, but they're certainly getting their hands on the country's stock of Kalashnikovs http://kalashnikov.guns.ru/ - and, they say, they need them.

"We just do not have enough rifles to equip all of our soldiers. So in certain circumstances we allow soldiers to have an AK-47. They have to demonstrate some proficiency with the weapon ... demonstrate an ability to use it," said Lt. Col. Mark Young, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.

I like the Kalashnikov. I want to see it adopted as a standard weapon in the place of the M-16.

Granted the Eugene Stoner's design was certainly cool, but I'll take reliable over cool any day. I've only had one stoppage with one in about ten years, and that was because a pellet of birdshot was caught between the bolt and the extractor claw while I was firing from the prone position on a twenty-five yard lane on an outdoor pistol-rifle-shotgun range.

This should not be a problem in actual combat conditions.

-- Les