Ex-Army Chief Joins Colt Defense’s Board

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Matthew Cox at Military.com reports that Former Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey is joining the governing board of Colt Defense LLC.

“We don’t want to rush to judgment, but it does raise troubling questions,” said John Hart, communications director for Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who played a significant role in the Army’s decision launch its improved carbine effort.

Casey’s position on Colt’s board is an example of “a pattern of behavior we see throughout the military and government when high-ranking officials end up working for a particular interest,” Hart said.

If Gen. George Casey canceled the carbine competition in favor of retaining the Colt M4 Carbine and then left for a high paying job at Colt, I would be very suspicious. I would also be suspicious if a high-level Colt employee left their job for a high-level procurement position at the Pentagon.

It is not suspicious that a General takes a job at a defense contractor, anymore than when a Captain takes a job with a defense contractor. It is natural for a person to find a job in the industry where they have the most expertise.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr. in Iraq, 2006.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • rew

    well, let’s be realistic…i doubt casey is advising colt on how to best improve their designs, he’s just a lobbyist who used to have some stars on his collar at this point, using his connections to get them contracts.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      I don’t disagree. His skills are in understanding the Pentagon and Senate politics, his understanding of military procurement and decision making and, as you said, his contacts.

      They are not hiring him to design guns or tell them what the solider in Afghanistan needs.

      • erwos

        Steve, I think you’re being naive. His skills are that he’s a Pentagon insider who has personal relationships with many people in decision-making positions. This is, quite frankly, a form of soft corruption.

      • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

        I agree that Colt wants Casey for his Roladex, but Casey should have at least held out for a board membership in a more valuable company. Colt isn’t even among the top 100 government contractors.

  • Lance

    Hay Steve We talked about this for a long time. Many other studiers of the Military find the whole Carbine competition far fetched anyway. Even to get it on the books the Col Grene had a heck of a time trying to get one on the books little lone to get it started. Thing is the Army is currently working on improving the M-4 and this whole competition is to please Senators with pockets of money form FN Remington HK ect who simply want to make money. the whole program is set back last month when the USMC told lawmaker they will NOT adopt a ICC winner (if a winner ever comes to reality) and is working like the Army to improve the M-4 and making a new M-16A5 a few years from now. This comes from writer who know infantry marksmanship officers in the USMC at the Pentagon which people I talked to from Marine-times verified this point. The Marines and Navy will not drop the Rifle for a all carbine. And I don’t see the brass there changing at all. The main point is there own upgraded and new rifle the M-27 shows other services are moving far away from the Army. The Navy and USAF also will NOT participate with the Army. Both will buy more M-4s. And the Coast Guard isn’t fully military now since it is DHS now hence why they use .40 cal SiGs and have no intention to remove the M-4 and M-16 from fleet use.

    As for the competition itself most major Gun makers dropped out some before it began. Knights Armament, Ruger, LMT left before they submitted to the competition. Now Colt S&W and even Barret are dropping out. The military’s plan to buy the rights and design has made this whole event unpalatable for many makers. And already most complained the competition is too unfeasible since they dropped modular designs and calibers changes from the requirements. So in the end its for another plain 5.56mm pea shooter and so Colt dropped the CM-901 a awesome design from it. Most designs now are M-4s with factory improvements like the ADCOR BEAR HK 416 and Colts ACM models. This as the government makes the same carbine in the M-4A2 which both Colt S&W and FN and HK will be working on as well.

    With BIG cuts from the super committee failure and 450 Billion cut and additional 300 Billion possible this would but the ICC on a back burner as the Army is expected to take the brunt of the cuts while the Navy and USAF will be spared as much as possible. The GCV seems to be the Army most wanted program no anyway.

    In the end the attempt to ditch the Stoner system by 2017 will probably NOT work. In most cases the Army probably pick either a improved M-4 or ditch this competition all together. If we stay with 5.56mm NATO I dont see a new system to replace the current one. Until a new caliber or new breed or weapons like the LSAT program comes the M-4 can do the job some guns may be more cooler and future in appearance to some here but in the end they are all just same 5.56mm weapons so going to a new system only the Army will use would be cost losing and waste of time Either goto a 6.5mm or 6.8mm if you want a new weapon or just improve what works.

    Anyway Jdun1911 and Dan Walters whats your opinion?

    • wat?

      For a writer, you’re a pretty poor writer.

      But if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that the guys undermining the carbine competition aren’t the bad guys, but rather the guys that pushed for it in the first place? Sorry, I don’t get it. The current AR design is deeply flawed. I could probably find you five helmet-vids of AR15s jamming in battle in less than ten minutes, and without even searching for jams.
      The competition has turned into a joke, you’re right, but I would look for the reason less in the needlessness of the thing, but rather with the powerful interests trying to prevent it.

      • Lance

        I don’t know what you’ve seen but Ive shot ARs and M-16s for years and only had a jam with crappy wolf ammo. Thing is the USMC USAF and Navy and Coast Guard are NOT leaving the M-4/M-16 design. Most jams accord when poorly trained Army solders use a M-4 like a M-240 GPMG and spray and prey. No rifle would survive such torture.

        Fact is theirs no real gun out there that has a drastic advantage over the Stoner system. Most are revamped M-4s any way like the Barret and the HK 416. Other designs where left by SOCOM because they were NOT a major leap over a M-4s so when budgets are very very tight. And with all other services say a outright NO to any other weapon this is a waste of time.

        Over all we both agree this is NOT going anywhere BUT we can agree improvements to the M-4 to a A2 system may be the right way to go.

      • wat?

        “Most jams accord when poorly trained Army solders use a M-4 like a M-240 GPMG and spray and prey. No rifle would survive such torture.”

        I would dispute that. There are rifles which, in trials, have performed significantly better than the M4/AR15. Think of the SOCOM trials. The FN SCAR had 127 stoppages, the HK416 had 233 and the 882! That’s almost seven times more than the SCAR. A soldier would be seven times more likely to have his primary weapon fail – and potentially die as a result – using the Colt compared to the FN.
        If that isn’t significant then I don’t know what. Also, I’d disagree with you that the HK416 is just a minor upgrade to the AR. I read an interview with an HK-engineer in “Kommando” a while ago who basically said that, even though the internals are significantly different, HK decided to go with an AR look because they believed that both the US military and the US public are so dead focused on AR-platforms that it was necessary to stick with the old look.

        Take a look at this video. Notice how, starting at 2:08 the soldier has no less than four stoppages in the time the camera focuses on him alone. And he wasn’t going full-auto insane.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dASEg-EenEI&list=PL8C37447F5C26EE55&feature=plcp
        (I absolutely hate giving that f*cking war porn profiteer FUNKER530 even only one additional view, but the only other uploader of this vid has taken it down, and I feel like this one specifically illustrates my point pretty well)

        In the Battle of Wanat, four soldiers died because they couldn’t defend themselves anymore after their carbines (and, admittedly, also their GPMG) jammed. Those soldiers were members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. Sure, they weren’t “Marine ZtrOng!!111″, but I highly doubt they were poorly trained.

      • wat?

        *the Colt M4 had 882

      • Lance

        Sure you are NOT W? you sound just like him.

        The Dust test can be disputed since most of the new carbines where given special preference over the M-4. With the test having the M-4 fire when dirty and the other fired after cleaning. You don’t get most GI clean there weapon after use in the field which eliminates the potential jamming problems fact is most jam occurred when some solders who got lazy never cleaned the weapon then it jammed that’s there fault NOT the M-4. Fact too is so called other weapons have there own problems the XM-8 hand-guards broke easily and the SCAR but stock breaks too easily. Thing too is there no reason to goto another 5.56mm carbine if you want a new caliber it makes since then. fact prove you wrong too is that elite units largely dumped the SCAR L for the older M-4 and said it had no major advantage in combat over the M-4. The SCAR H did offer new features for a battle rifle and that’s why the H still largely used and the Mk-16 is largely forgotten.

        For the mostly part I know your probably W or one of a few M-4 haters here its fine your opinion but trying to pick fights is wasteful. Fact is this who carbine competition was started by special interest in congress NOT solder and generals in the field. FN HK and Remington gave lots of money to likes of Tom Colburn and others who want money and prestige to there district. As I told you the USMC and Navy and USAF all will NOT buy a ICC winner which makes this competition useless.

        I know you hate the M-16 and M-4 with all your might but its not worth replacing a peashooter with another pea shooter we can agree a caliber change would be better.

      • Lance

        Ohh and the solders of Wanat where abusing the weapons they had by shooting hundreds if not thousand rounds in a short time which melted the barrels Steve the author of this site agrees they had abused there weapon beyond what a rif;e is made for. they could have had your beloved FN or a 416 or anything they would have failed too. This was blown out of proportion by political leaders who where getting money for other gun makers anyway.

      • wat?

        Not W, promised. In fact, I rarely ever post in the comment section here.

        I don’t hate the AR. It was a great rifle for the time it was designed in. But in my eyes, there are simply better alternatives out there by now, especially considering the current (and likely also future) theatres of war, which have exposed some of the system’s weaknesses.

        Your caliber-argument doesn’t make sense to me. According this line of argument, it wouldn’t have made sense developing/buying any new cars over the last 70, 80 years, considering they’re still all just using good ol’ gas, and not something new.

        Sure, HKs, FNs, etc will jam sooner or later as well. The question is how much later, and how much of a difference will it make? Would the soldiers at Wanat maybe have survived had their weapons lasted only 15, 20 minutes longer?

        You shift a lot of the blame on poor maintenance. That might be true, might not be. I believe that the less weight is placed on the human factor, the better. A gun that functions properly if it is maintained 100% according to manual is good, a gun that functions when it is not maintained according to the book is better. You can’t eliminate the human factor, but you can minimize it.

        Lastly, while I have no trouble believing that the decision to search for a carbine replacement was probably pushed by the special interest of Colt’s competitors, this article alone proves that this is definitely not a one-way street. Just like FN & HK want to see the Colt replaced, Colt wants to prevent that at all costs.
        What are the worst case scenarios for each side?
        #1: The Army has to pay for a new carbine which turns out to be only marginally superior (but still superior) to the old one. Money is wasted as a result.
        #2: The Army sticks to an inferior (and faulty) product due to Colt lobbying. Soldiers die as a result.

        I prefer option #1.

      • Lance

        I can agree with you this is all politics but I can point out the M-4 is NOT as bad as what the media made it to look in 09. Much like the Dragon Skin vs Interceptor armor debate in 05 the Army vest proved just fine despite the media crying it was inferior due to so called tests. The M-4 has 94% solder approval over competitors and among troops in surveys.

        The main fact is the Army is going to improve the M-4 to a M-4A2 standard which will address some of the faults of the M-4. the inclusion of a piston system will make the weapon cleaner. More over with MASSIVE Defense cuts coming in the next few years the DoD will not afford a new weapon especially when all other branches are staying with the M-16 series. BIG thin is that Those solders at Wanat would have died any way if they where armed with any gun by Colt FN and HK they there over shooting the weapons past what they where designed to shoot. this is a case for poor marksmanship maintenance and lack of armored and air support in Afghanistan.

        I point to the fact all other services and that SOCOM switched back the the M-4 for a 5.56mm carbine is proof that this whole carbine debate is politics and a waste of money. There is always room to improve the weapon but no design is that much better than the current M-4.

      • Lance

        I also point to that Defense contractor like me have a choice to pick what weapons they can use over sea they pick a M-16 or M-4 over almost every design on the market. if the M-4 was flop they wouldn’t be using them.

      • W

        haha, that is hilarious. You cannot refute any of my arguments and then resort to a last desperate attempt to accuse me of creating a second alter ego. That is brilliant lance.

        “I also point to that Defense contractor like me have a choice to pick what weapons they can use over sea they pick a M-16 or M-4 over almost every design on the market. if the M-4 was flop they wouldn’t be using them.”

        I will also point out that you are full of shit. Defense contractors do not get to “pick” what weapons they will carry. They carry what the company provides, which are predominantly M4’s or AKMs, both of the cheapest and most easily available weapons systems on the planet. M4’s are also carried by the US military, which significantly eases logistics. Most contractors carry M4’s, though i have seen many G36 and AK rifles also (and a lot of those RPD machine guns!). You seem to misunderstand the role of PMCs, and it is not some hyper-cool organization of supermen: they are security personnel that guard buildings and bodies. Very invaluable their efforts are, though nevertheless nothing requiring any equipment vastly different than the US military.

        But do contractors have a magical room filled with guns that they can choose at their whim? not remotely. A smart organization sticks with a common rifle (like what ive seen Aegis and Blackwater do) and common ammunition to ease cross loading and consolidation if necessary.

        “I can agree with you this is all politics but I can point out the M-4 is NOT as bad as what the media made it to look in 09.”

        It is the extreme on one side of the argument that was done by purely poor journalism and aspirations of high ratings. M4 barrels cannot get white hot. I about laughed my ass reading that if it wasn’t so horrific hearing about soldiers weapons failing when they needed them the most. Wanat was certainly evidence of the limitations of the M4. Afghanistan, albeit a tactical anomaly, provided evidence of the M4 and 5.56mm round’s limitations.

        Considering the M4 is generally less reliable than even the M16, yes, perhaps it is as bad as people think it is. I could have told you that fifteen years ago.

        Don’t get me wrong, the M4 is a fine weapon stateside or on a firing range shooting at a competition. In harsh, rugged terrain of a arid or arctic climate, the design is pushed beyond its limits compared to similar rifles though. Its time the military started paying !@&$ing attention to the limitations of the design, cut one Zumwalt destroyer, and get a better rifle into the hands of the soldiers and marines. We are a military and industrial powerhouse that spends more in defense than the ten countries below us combined…its time we started acting like a superpower that wants to win.

        “Much like the Dragon Skin vs Interceptor armor debate in 05 the Army vest proved just fine despite the media crying it was inferior due to so called tests.”

        The IBA was inferior! and that fact that you buy into the Army’s bullshit regarding the body armor debate is just plain stupid on your part.

        Here’s a independent test

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18720550/page/3/#.TvtqxNRSRrM

        here’s another one from the fresno police dept

        http://web.archive.org/web/20060504203223/http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/12110759p-12860958c.html

        I find it fascinating that despite the dragon skin performing admirably in its intended role, it was still binned by the army and subsequently lost its NIJ level III safety rating via department of justice (despite passing level III tests again); take into consideration the military does not require its vests to be NIJ certified. We are also not even touching into the debate about the ballistic plates that failed testing…

        The military did everything they could to discredit and ruin pinnacle armor and dragon skin, despite independent testing proving otherwise. Further evidence of the sought or unsought unwarranted influence of the military industrial complex.

        The design’s weakness? its weight and ability for its armor to keep intact after high temperatures. Is these issues that can be overcome? yes…easily.

        “The M-4 has 94% solder approval over competitors and among troops in surveys.”

        Ok now you are just lying. Soldiers do not even have a opportunity, generally, to use other weapons besides the M4. Its hard to form a objective comparison of the M4 with other weapons if you are only allowed to handle the M4 (LOL). I’m not sure where you keep pulling these percentages out of your ass, but its funny they seem to keep changing every time you post about the M4’s “Approval rate”.

        “More over with MASSIVE Defense cuts coming in the next few years the DoD will not afford a new weapon especially when all other branches are staying with the M-16 series.”

        Ive already refuted this “massive defense cut” pandemonium plenty of times. refer to my previous posts.

        “BIG thin is that Those solders at Wanat would have died any way if they where armed with any gun by Colt FN and HK they there over shooting the weapons past what they where designed to shoot. this is a case for poor marksmanship maintenance and lack of armored and air support in Afghanistan.”

        They would have died anyway? its easy being a defeatist when you are not the one in the trenches isn’t it?

        “I point to the fact all other services and that SOCOM switched back the the M-4 for a 5.56mm carbine is proof that this whole carbine debate is politics and a waste of money. There is always room to improve the weapon but no design is that much better than the current M-4.”

        I have a response to this horseshit,

        SOCOM’s Major Chaz Bowser:

        “We buy new laptop computers every few years across the gamut, so couldn’t we do the same with our single most important piece of military equipment? …. Waiting for a leap-ahead technology based on a kinetic energy weapon platform is a waste of time and money, so we need to look at what is out there now…. What the Army needs is a weapon that is now ready for prime-time and not a developmental system…. The requirement comes from the field, not from an office in some garrison activity, not from some consultant and definitely not from a vendor.

        Let’s do this quickly without all the bureaucracy typically associated with change. Find someone in our ranks who can make a decision – who hasn’t floated a retirement resume with a gun company – and make the decision now. Just look how fast we were all issued the ‘highly coveted’ black beret or the digital uniform. Find that recipe card, change out the word ‘Velcro’ with ‘battle rifle’ and that may be a start to finding a solution [DID: which, he acknowledges, could be Colt’s M4 if that’s what the competition shows]. Our men and women deserve much better than we are giving them, and shame on us.”

      • Lance

        W your full of it sorry this is NOT your conversation. Sorry SOCOM ditched you beloved SCAR L because its was NOT a major improvement over the M-4 and a few sailor or solders like your buddy Major disagree like every decision that’s made well don’t prove anything.

        And sorry both private and military polls show most solder well over 95% are satisfied with the M-4.

        You can lay off W we where having a conversation and I don’t need a mortar mouth like you W who makes crap up from discussion boards or at most finds a comment a ICC overseer states as hard facts.

        Fact is your so mad that its possible your precious carbine competition might fail you cant stand to read anything against your little mindset.

      • Lance

        your friend SOCOM’s Major Chaz Bowser

        Was a major contributor to the SCAR program is prejudice against all other SOCOM weapon designs any way. Strange you get angry but SOCOM ditched getting more than a few hundred Ls and are using M-4 and Mk-18s. They are not using your favorite SCAR L. Hay I can see them using Hs but the L was crap anyway.

    • W

      “W your full of it sorry this is NOT your conversation.”

      haha, save it. If you don’t like me calling you out, then start your own blog.

      “Sorry SOCOM ditched you beloved SCAR L because its was NOT a major improvement over the M-4 and a few sailor or solders like your buddy Major disagree like every decision that’s made well don’t prove anything.”

      SOCOM ditched the SCAR L?

      http://www.fnherstal.com/index.php?id=640

      “This resulted in the notification by USSOCOM last May that the full SCAR system entered into Milestone C phase, allowing production and deployment of the full range of SCAR weapons. The 5.56 version will be part of USSOCOM’s inventory.

      The choice between the 5.56 and the 7.62 caliber will be left to the discretion of each constitutive component of USSOCOM’s Joint Command (e.g. Seals, Rangers, Army Special Forces, USMC, AFSOC) depending on their specific missions on today’s battlefield.”

      hmmm…seems your “facts” conflict with what is really going on. The 16 was anything but ditched. I recall calling you out on your bullshit when a article was posted about the Navy buying additional SCAR rifles to include the 16 variant. Is it dementia or deliberate ignorance?

      “And sorry both private and military polls show most solder well over 95% are satisfied with the M-4.”

      please show me these polls. otherwise im going to say you are full of shit.

      “You can lay off W we where having a conversation and I don’t need a mortar mouth like you W who makes crap up from discussion boards or at most finds a comment a ICC overseer states as hard facts.”

      save your personal agenda for the bathroom wall. Its hilarious who includes citations to back up their work, and yet you provide none…continually and habitually. Interesting.

      Here’s a word of advice: firearms are a scientific principle and science, by nature, is backed by fact not faith.

      Here’s a description of what science is since you don’t understand

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science#Philosophy_of_science

      Now that the marriage of science and firearms is understood (hopefully), leave out the emotional, “faith”-based garbage when it comes to firearms.

      “Fact is your so mad that its possible your precious carbine competition might fail you cant stand to read anything against your little mindset.”

      Your goddamned right it makes me mad. Bureaucracy and politics, not to mention blind allegiances to superiors with ulterior motives, is the reason why i left the military and government, because these failures are needlessly expending treasure, and most importantly, human lives. The fact is that the M4 and M16 are obsolete and inadequate weapons, whose technology curves have long peaked. The military will not change weapons because it is conflicts with special interests in Washington and the military industrial complex, though that doesn’t mean its impossible (one can hope). The same mindset is bringing failures like the Stryker, F35, and Future Combat Systems into fruition, which do nothing for the common soldier and steal billions of the taxpayers dollars away for a small group of oligarchs.

      yes it makes me mad. Soldiers dying due to inadequate equipment and weaponry is a gargantuan failure that should result in imprisonment. Thank you for demonstrating that not only are you ignorant of the requirements of a 21st century rifle system, but continually hold onto the logic that the M4 is “good enough”…which i have demonstrated multiple times is a fallacy and creates unnecessary risk to human beings. Utterly despicable. Your main point is “the M4 is good enough”. I’m saying, and demonstrating, that is fundamentally wrong…especially for the most powerful war machine in human history.

  • Burst

    I wonder how long it’s been since he picked up an Colt product for anything besides a photo-op?

  • john

    no more unethical than congressmen front running stocks and land deals -

    • Other Steve

      This guy at least earned his title. Congressmen just fooled people into voting for them.

      • Jay

        Do you mean, he earned his title he got at Colt?
        Sure he sure deserved this one after killing any chance of fair competition. He may be one of the reasons the “Carabine competition” was turned into a silly joke, and he most likely he has a hand in in SOCOM not buying the SCAR after it pretty much walked all over everything else in the SCAR competition.

  • john

    Hahaha. This explains very clearly why US Millitary didn’t find anything wrong with AR15 familly of weapons for 40 years, while troops were killed because of that rifle!!
    Good luck to competition trying to compete with Colt when they even have the Army Chief of Staff in their pocket.

  • A Critic

    “It is not suspicious that a General takes a job at a defense contractor, anymore than when a Captain takes a job with a defense contractor. ”

    It’s fascism. That’s not suspicious. This wouldn’t be personal corruption, but systemic corruption, which really is a whole lot worse.

    • john

      Exactly!

      He wouldn’t get that fat position if he didn’t already make Colt a bunch of millions.
      In your face coruption at the highest levels and some of you think it’s fine?

      No wonder US is where it is right now. The sleep of a nation creates monsters!

    • Burst

      I think that in fascism, at least, you’d have corporate cronyism serving the (perceived) good of the nation.

      This is oligarchy, and it’s uglier, because people are being paid to not do their jobs. Sure, we save a few bucks using Colts, but we’re also squeezed into buying weapons advancements we don’t need.

      • Jay

        Actually when you look at the price of maintenance, parts, and all other acesories the millitary buys to give the M4 what comes standard on other rifles, you loose big money. But biggest problem is that people died because of this.

  • charles222

    Glad to see a General rocking a plate carrier when everyone else in Iraq in 2006 was rocking a crap-ass IBA.

    • W

      yeah its a funny thing. When you are special, you can wear whatever you want. Its no different than those commanders that bought their own dragon skin.

      • charles222

        Those commanders were idiots. Dragon Skin offers an advantage in the sense that it’s heavier. :p

  • Neal

    ACU’s, desert Kevlar cover, Coyote Brown plate carrier, and leather shoulder holster.
    Tacticool fashion faux pas.

  • George

    This is what you call corruption, or at least the appearance of it. I understand people have to make money, but how can the troops trust their leadership to make correct decisions when they have fat job contracts lined up after they get out?

  • W

    “a pattern of behavior we see throughout the military and government when high-ranking officials end up working for a particular interest”

    yes, interesting little thing, corruption is. I would say, “funny little thing”, though the profound implications it has on our society and military is no laughing matter.

    reminds me of the abysmal situation with the Interceptor Body Armor and Stryker…

    • William C.

      And what was wrong with the Stryker exactly? If you look at it for the role it was designed to fill, it is a fine vehicle. The problem is when you start thinking “why isn’t it a Bradley” or “why isn’t it an MRAP”. Plus people like Sparky have a grudge against the vehicle.

      The whole Interceptor vs. Dragon Skin body armor case appears to be more related to mishandling by the Army than anything else. I’m not certain if that mess was ever resolved outside of Congress doing a hearing, forgetting about it, and moving onto messing up other things.

      • W

        “And what was wrong with the Stryker exactly? If you look at it for the role it was designed to fill, it is a fine vehicle. The problem is when you start thinking “why isn’t it a Bradley” or “why isn’t it an MRAP”. Plus people like Sparky have a grudge against the vehicle.”

        What is rediculous is that a upgraded M113 is cheaper than the Stryker, more mobile over adverse terrain, and more protective, though the Army decided to spend billions reinventing a wheel that has already existed in the marine corps and canadian army: the LAV.

        the Stryker is a urban assault vehicle. That is it. It is not a off road tank destroyer, troop transport, and it definetely is not a IFV. A unit is Strykers would fare very poorly against BMPs (being disporportionately reliant on individual, lightly armored infantrymen with javelins) or even newer variants of the BTR in a conventional war.

        The decision to replace heavy armored units with Strykers (3rd ACR for example) is a poor decision that affects the Army’s ability to wage conventional war (which should never be compromised). From my experiences, i never will have any love for the Stryker or its variants. It is a multi-billion dollar sinkhole and army’s futile attempt to transform it into something that its not and never will be.

        For off road performance, the M113 was superior in every aspect and superior to the Bradley for the IFV role (when equipped with a 25mm gun).

        “The whole Interceptor vs. Dragon Skin body armor case appears to be more related to mishandling by the Army than anything else. I’m not certain if that mess was ever resolved outside of Congress doing a hearing, forgetting about it, and moving onto messing up other things.”

        I could care less if it was dragon skin or whatever. It was demonstrated that the IBA was a inferior piece of equipment that was obviously fielded due to payoffs between certain groups of people. As described publically, the IBA is not “the best body armor system” available. That is a load of bull.

        http://sftt.org/news/body-armor-testing-pentagon-spin-doctors-at-work-again/

      • William C.

        “What is rediculous is that a upgraded M113 is cheaper than the Stryker, more mobile over adverse terrain, and more protective, though the Army decided to spend billions reinventing a wheel that has already existed in the marine corps and canadian army: the LAV.”

        These “upgraded M113s” were based off the MTVL which was a lengthened derivative of the M113 family with a new engine and other components. In order to be comparable to the Stryker it would need an armor kit as the baseline protection level is the same as the current M113A3. It would have had an advantage over adverse terrain, yet the Army decided on a wheeled vehicle for a number of reasons. The cost of the vehicle would have also been closer to the Stryker once you factor in all of the electronics jammed into the thing.

        The LAV used by the USMC is an earlier generation LAV. The Canadian Army’s LAV III is what the Stryker is based off of. They didn’t reinvent the wheel, they selected a variant of the LAV III.

        “The Stryker is a urban assault vehicle. That is it. It is not a off road tank destroyer, troop transport, and it definetely is not a IFV. A unit is Strykers would fare very poorly against BMPs (being disporportionately reliant on individual, lightly armored infantrymen with javelins) or even newer variants of the BTR in a conventional war.”

        Acronyms aside, the basic Stryker is an APC, but you have many other variants built on the same platform as part of the whole IAV concept. If the MTVL derived vehicle was selected you would have seen the same thing.

        Going by the original concept, a Stryker BCT would arrive in AO quickly and control the situation until heavier assets could arrive. Against a mechanized infantry force of BMPs (probably backed up by tanks) a Stryker BCT would have to fight smart. If they’re not backed up by a high level of air and artillery support, somebody has seriously screwed up.

        “The decision to replace heavy armored units with Strykers (3rd ACR for example) is a poor decision that affects the Army’s ability to wage conventional war (which should never be compromised). From my experiences, i never will have any love for the Stryker or its variants. It is a multi-billion dollar sinkhole and army’s futile attempt to transform it into something that its not and never will be.”

        We shouldn’t be replacing heavy armor units with Strykers. That is a causality of the Army’s “transformation” concept. Yet Stryker BCTs do have their uses. The IAV program (now Stryker) was to be the precursor to the FCS program MGV family, and demonstrate how those vehicles were to be deployed and use. FCS-MGV was a sinkhole, as we never got anything from that program.

        “For off road performance, the M113 was superior in every aspect and superior to the Bradley for the IFV role (when equipped with a 25mm gun).”

        Yes the M113 MTVL was superior off-road. The Stryker was superior on-road and can’t throw a track. There are trade-offs to both wheeled and tracked designs. Putting a 25mm cannon on the MTVL wouldn’t make it superior to the Bradley for any number of reasons. The Bradley has better armor protection, features a TOW launcher, carries more ammo for its weapons, and has a fire control system featuring 2nd generation FLIR and all of that nice stuff. Plus it has an engine and suspension rated to be carrying all of this heavy weight. You’re starting to push the limits of the vehicle once you give the M113 MTVL the heaviest armor kit, a 25mm turret, all of the electronics the Army wants, etc.

        “I could care less if it was dragon skin or whatever. It was demonstrated that the IBA was a inferior piece of equipment that was obviously fielded due to payoffs between certain groups of people. As described publically, the IBA is not “the best body armor system” available. That is a load of bull.”

        When IBA was introduced it was cutting edge. Yet better designs are introduced as time goes on, the question in 2006-7 was if Dragon Skin was superior. Even if Dragon Skin did provide superior protection it was some 19 pounds heavier. Trade-offs.

      • W

        “These “upgraded M113s” were based off the MTVL which was a lengthened derivative of the M113 family with a new engine and other components. In order to be comparable to the Stryker it would need an armor kit as the baseline protection level is the same as the current M113A3. It would have had an advantage over adverse terrain, yet the Army decided on a wheeled vehicle for a number of reasons. The cost of the vehicle would have also been closer to the Stryker once you factor in all of the electronics jammed into the thing.”

        I don’t believe that the “cost” would have been the same. The MTVL is a improvement over a common platform of the M113, which is more mobile over adverse terrain and suitable for airborne warfare. In its optimum armor upgrade (resistant to 30mm rounds), it is still air droppable. Fully equipped, Strykers are not air droppable.

        The bottom line is the Army is following a delusional fad that wheels are the future of warfare, despite the German Army learning the hard way about the limitations of wheeled vehicles on the eastern front 60 years ago. Given combat testimonies in afghanistan, we are re-learning those lessons once again. Utter stupidity.

        “Putting a 25mm cannon on the MTVL wouldn’t make it superior to the Bradley for any number of reasons. The Bradley has better armor protection, features a TOW launcher, carries more ammo for its weapons, and has a fire control system featuring 2nd generation FLIR and all of that nice stuff. Plus it has an engine and suspension rated to be carrying all of this heavy weight. You’re starting to push the limits of the vehicle once you give the M113 MTVL the heaviest armor kit, a 25mm turret, all of the electronics the Army wants, etc.”

        The Bradley improved armor is designed with withstand 30mm IFV shells of Russian and Chinese origin. The MTVL additional armor is rated the same. I remain dubious that the Bradley is “more protective” is more protective, given they have similar ratings.

        It puzzles me that the Russians can produce highly mobile infantry fighting vehicles and airborne variants, yet the US cannot. I believe the MTVL can incorporate these advanced technologies, though the political bureaucracy strongly favored the Stryker due to conflict of interest.

        Besides, the MTVL has a lower silohette, comparable cross country speed, superior survivability, and is lighter.

        Wheeled personnel carriers should be specialized combat vehicles, not primary front-line ones.

        “The LAV used by the USMC is an earlier generation LAV. The Canadian Army’s LAV III is what the Stryker is based off of. They didn’t reinvent the wheel, they selected a variant of the LAV III.”

        They DID reinvent the wheel, indicating what they have overspent on the program. Here is a PDF containing the costs of the program.

        http://www.dnipogo.org/fcs/pdf/stryker_reality_of_war.pdf

        The political disinformation spread by the army ensured that pennicle armor’s reputation was tarnished, despite fielding a product that was vastly superior to the Interceptor Body Armor. These things happen all the time when one butts heads with the cronies.

        One of the many reasons why I left the military and government and never looked back…

      • Lance

        Hi William C you told me yourself you think there nothing really to come from this whole dumb competition and most solders will stay with current weapons. Like I said before with all other services out there’s little room to even adopt a new weapon.

  • calool

    slightly off topic, but does anyone else think that this guy looks kind of like sgt nantz from battle los angeles?

    • charles222

      You mean Gunny Dent? :p

      Yeah, slightly.

  • HK93

    But isn’t this the SOP for most defense industry manufacturers/contractors ? ii.e. hiring recently retired generals and other top brass to be their lobbyists ? It is a myth that the US system is any less corrupt and bribe immune as compared to some third world dictatorship that agrees to buy weapons after a persuasive marketing blitz from our finest captains of industry.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

    It looks like my opinion in in the minority. I am going to reevaluate my acceptance of these kind of deals.

  • Doug

    I thought people were still innocent until proven guilty. If there isnt proof of wrong doing, then why should this even be an issue.

    • Rijoenpial

      Doug,

      I too believe in the presumption of innocence, although looking around us, we see patterns of corruption, lobbying and all sorts of perversions of the state of law that was supposed to rule our countries… The fact remains that the former Head of Colt was a retired general as well… The moment I saw him, I realised why COLT was benefited SO much and for SO long… It stinks too much to go unnoticed…

      Cheers!

      • Jay

        This is colt’s bussines stategy. Buy generals and decision making people in millitary instead of spending money on research, design and developement of new firearms.
        This guy never designed a single succesful assault rifle, or machine gun from the ground up, yet for some funy reason are the number one US military contractor for small arms. Look how many succesful firearms others have designed and built.
        I guess is cheaper to buy generals and politicians than spend money on expensive research and design.

  • DAve

    This is just a redirect- far more onerous is our LEGISLATORS bouncing into multi-million dollar positions in private industry after passing legislation that directly profits that industry, and that happens ALL THE TIME…

  • Victor

    Well, that certainly explains a lot.

  • Doesitmatter?

    Tell you something gentlemen: this is corporate HQ in Hartford rigt? Now, there is also Canadian division. General manager is ex-soldier, manager of engineering is ex-soldier. And, there is at least one or two others on staff who are ex-soldiers. Just asking silly question: do you think it matters?? In my mind, not really. I’d like to presume they are ‘right people’ on their spots. I’d like to presume they know ‘everything’ about guns. By purpose, obviously. Connections? I do not know about that….

    • Jay

      The Canadian division (Colt Canada) is ex “Diemaco”. Colt bought them because they were wining all the contracts for M16 patern rifles from other NATO countries. The Diemaco version was very good quality product and didn’t come with the political package of dealing with a US company.
      Of course one of the reasons Norway decided not to get the Canadian version for their army, is that Colt bought them. They got the HK416 instead.

  • G3K762

    erwos,

    With all do respect, I really hate that term “soft” corruption. It reminds me of driving home and listening to Sean Hannity who admitted that we do have the “beginnings of a soft tyranny in this country”. Soft is a great word to describe how a woman should feel, what most congressmen look-like (read Barney Frank, Jerold Nadler etc) or how I prefer my ice cream, but “soft” just doesn’t get her done when it comes to corruption or tyranny. Those words are harsh and we needn’t use any additional words to make the terms sound and less despicable than they are.

    • erwos

      The term has meaning, but it’s subtle. There are two kinds of corruption:
      1. The “hard”, obvious sort. Bribes, blackmail, insider trading, etc.
      2. The “soft”, less-obvious sort. “You do me a favor, I’ll do you a favor”, old-boy networks, lobbyists handing out free trips, etc.

      This, of course, is an example of the latter sort of corruption. You’re hiring an old-boy so you can use the old-boy network. It won’t win you contracts on its own, but it will help, AND IT SHOULD NOT.

      Soft corruption is not as immediately corrosive to the system as hard corruption, but it’s the sort of rot that makes government contracting such an unfair, expensive, bloated process. If you don’t think that’s a problem, that’s your opinion, but as someone who’s played the aerospace contracting game at a fairly high level, I also think you’d be dead wrong.

      Funny that you should accuse me of being heavily influenced by right-wing talk radio (I don’t listen to talking heads of any sort)… I actually felt like it was a rather left-wing argument to make.

      • W

        There are no soft or hard corruption types, only different types of corruption, which described, are all categorized under corruption singularly.

        Cronyism is a form of corruption just like embezzlement, bribery, and patronage. They are all equally deplorable, and to term them either bad or less bad is ignorant and apologetic, not to mention defiant of the common definition of corruption.

        Corruption is, as explained by merriam webster

        Corruption (N) \kə-ˈrəp-shən\

        a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity
        b : decay, decomposition
        c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery)
        d : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct

        This ambiguous “soft-corruption” term, which is apologist, apathetic bullshit, is, as erwos described, cronyism.

        Cronyism (N) \krō-nē-i-zəm\

        a: partiality to cronies especially as evidenced in the appointment of political hangers-on to office without regard to their qualifications.

        hmmmm. sounds a lot like the US government and military industrial complex to me…today’s word: Cronyism.

        Btw, the idea that whistle blowing against corruption and nonacceptance of corruption, however slight or large, is a “left leaning idea” is utterly ridiculous. It is the responsibility and duty of every person, whether left, right, or middle to never accept corruption. Read about ancient Rome and its relationship with corruption…

        Not to delve into murky waters, but with the generally traditionalist, religious-inspired ideology of conservatives, one would think they less accepting of corruption…

  • Domestic Squirrel

    Dammit I joined the Army to get rich! Not to be all I can be!!

  • Nicks87

    The U.S. Govt is one of the most corrupt in the world.

    As soon as people wake up and realize that, the sooner we can start trying to fix things.

    I work at a VA hospital and see first-hand how bad the Govt treats our veterans. While Generals and high ranking officers get high paying exec. jobs at Colt and other defense contractors the rest of the men and women who served cant even get the treatment they need from the govt who put them in harms way in the first place.

    The banks control the govt. and the govt rapes the middle-class to pay the banks, while the uber wealthly get mega-rich.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE! IT’S NOT TOO LATE.

  • Lance
    • W

      congratulations, you fished a link from the US Army. You will find overwhelming criticism of the status quo on that site! (LOL)

  • LTC F

    If GEN Casey is as effective at Colt as he was as the Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq, or as Chief of Staff of the Army, I wouldn’t recommend buying any Colt stock.

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