Reason Express draws the wrong conclusion from a story on U.S. soldiers using AK-47’s.
The Pentagon and the Bush administration can pretend otherwise, but when tankers from your frontline armored divisions are kicking around dusty Iraqi side streets on foot armed with captured AK-47s because they lack M-16s, something has gone very wrong. Putting enemy weapons to good use is the kind of adaptability you’d expect from American troops. But this seems to be a case of the brass committing to a mission whether or not they can field a force fit for it.
The truth is that the U.S. soldiers use the AK-47 not because they can’t get M-16’s and M-4’s but because from a “grunt on the ground” viewpoint, it is a more desirable weapon.
The AK is favored by many of the world’s fighters, from child soldiers in Africa to rebel movements around the world, because it is light, durable and known to jam less frequently.
Now U.S. troops who have picked up AKs on raids or confiscated them at checkpoints are putting the rifles to use, and they like what they see.
Some complain that standard U.S. military M16 and M4 rifles jam too easily in Iraq’s dusty environment. Many say the AK has better “knockdown” power and can kill with fewer shots.
The American military will probably be stuck with the M-16 for years to come, but whenever the grunts have been given a choice, they have opted to use something other than that piece of plastic which has been regarded as a piece of shit for more than thirty years.