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US Stance On Armor Disputed

Boston Globe Company says vehicle orders waiting for OK...Rummy lied again... Despite Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's assertion that the m

Boston Globe

Company says vehicle orders waiting for OK...Rummy lied again...

Despite Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's assertion that the military is outfitting Humvees with armor as quickly as possible, the company providing the vehicles said it has been waiting since September for approval from the Pentagon to increase monthly production by as many as 100 of the all-terrain vehicles, intended to protect against roadside bombs in Iraq.

Army officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged yesterday that they have not approved new purchase orders for armored trucks, despite the company's readiness to produce more. They said the Pentagon has been debating how many more armored Humvees are needed.

Rumsfeld, questioned by soldiers in Kuwait on Wednesday who said they have had to pick through landfills for scrap metal to boost vehicle protection, said the Army was working as quickly at it could to get armored Humvees to the front. It is "a matter of physics, not a matter of money," Rumsfeld said, adding that the Army was "breaking its neck." President Bush yesterday reiterated that "the concerns expressed are being addressed."

But executives at Armor Holdings in Jacksonville, Fla., as well as Army officials and members of Congress, said Rumsfeld's assertion that the protective equipment is being provided as quickly as possible is not true and added the company has been waiting for more purchase orders. More

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