“He Should Have an AK”
When I noted that this year is the 60th birthday of the AK-47 assault rifle, I included lots of links to sources testifying to that weapon’s quality and reliability — especially when compared to the weapon U.S. soldiers have carried since the Vietnam era, the M-16 rifle. Here’s another one.
I was reading a thread on Phillip Carter’s excellent site Intel Dump today and found a link to an interview that shows just how low the M-16 is still rated compared to the AK-47, even after decades of improvements. It’s a PBS interview that includes some talk with one of the original designers of the M-16, a fellow named Jim Sullivan. Sullivan compares the improvements that have been made to the AK family over the years to those made to the M-16, and when asked by interviewer Paul Solman which one he would rather have his son carry into battle in Iraq, Sullivan is pretty blunt:
JIM SULLIVAN: He should have an AK.
PAUL SOLMAN: Really?
JIM SULLIVAN: Yes.
It’s a sad statement about our military procurement system when we can always find the money for the latest mega-budget project with no clear rationale for existing, but when it comes to providing the basics for the grunts on the ground — rifles that don’t jam, body armor that stops today’s bullets, vehicles that shield their crew from injury — we can’t seem to make it happen.