Senator: Troops Deserve Better

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The insurgency in Iraq has become expert at hitting U.S. and Coalition forces where they are most vulnerable. Roadside bombs and suicide bombers in vehicles have both been used to attack troop convoys and their lightly armored or unarmored Humvees and trucks, and the death toll continues to mount.

U.S. Sen. Trent Lott is critical of the Pentagon in its efforts so far to protect our forces. He addressed the issue in a teleconference with Mississippi reporters Wednesday.

"I don't think the Pentagon is doing enough," said Lott. "And that's one reason I've been critical of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Our job is to make sure our fighting men and women are protected as well as possible from injury or death."

Lott explained that Humvees are basically just Jeeps and that they are being used to ferry troops, a job better suited to the armored personnel carriers.

"Some progress has been made in armoring these Humvees, but more must be done," Lott said.

The Pentagon recently moved to speed up production of armored Humvees for shipment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Lott said that can't come soon enough for Coalition combat forces in harm's way.