VIDEO: Rumsfeld Confronted By Soldier Over Equipment Shortages In Iraq

Improvized Explosive Devices (IEDs) are responsible for “nearly half the casualties of our troops in Iraq.” Among the best defenses against IEDs is a massive heavily-armored vehicle called the Buffalo, which has “become the favorite of U.S. Army combat engineer teams.”

Yesterday, during a surprise trip to Iraq, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was confronted by a U.S. Army corporal who said the Buffalo he was using was “one of oldest pieces of equipment in the country,” and that just two weeks before, he’d seen a brand new Buffalo in New York City. Rumsfeld defended the Pentagon’s anti-IED efforts and deflected the specific question with a joke.

Watch it:

Full transcript below:

CORPORAL ARTHUR KING: Right now we have one of the oldest pieces of equipment in the country. It’s called a Buffalo and ours is the oldest. And the other day, two weeks ago, we saw a brand-new one in downtown New York City and we’ve been waiting for three months for ours. We are just wondering why that was.

RUMSFELD: Well, I don’t know about New York City. They obviously have a separate budget and they buy what they buy. We’ve got $3.6 billion that dwarfs anything that New York City does just for I.E.D. work and General Monty Miggs has been brought back and he is in the process — he has been in the Army for two and a half, three years, he has been working their heads off as the nature of the I.E.D. problem has migrated and evolved they have put enormous effort on it. I can’t answer why your particular unit ends up with one of the oldest pieces of equipment, but I’ll bet you General Casey can.

OLBERMANN: To his credit, General Casey skipped the jokes said he didn’t know either but would find out and get back to him with an answer.