I may not understand the scale of costs and the reality of the problem. However, if I do the math, it appears that even if we had an enormous number of troops in action, the cost to provide each and every soldier the most efficient firearms is a reasonable cost. It is all by scale isn’t it? A billion $$$ for a highway project, light rail project, insurance company bailout…. The soldier deserves the best weapons possible from anywhere in the world to defend and assault. What % of failure is acceptable if your son or nephew or neighbor is hunkered down or running across a village carrying 50-100 pounds of gear in stifling heat or morning cold? What is the reliability factor of a M4 Carbine v. an AK47 v. a Euro weapon? I don’t know the answers. But, the questions appear to have been around for several years and with mass casualties, being outgunned is unacceptable. Knowing the government…training, support, resources, planning at the ground level are not always adequate. Once deaths arise from such foolishness…to use a Muslim phrase….heads should roll…so to speak.
“In the chaos of an early morning assault on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips’ M4 carbine quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn’t work either.”
“And the relationship between the Army and Colt has been frosty at times. Concerned over the steadily rising cost of the M4, the Army forced Colt to lower its prices two years ago by threatening to buy rifles from another supplier. Prior to the warning, Colt “had not demonstrated any incentive to consider a price reduction,” then-Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, an Army acquisition official, wrote in a November 2006 report.
Coburn is the M4’s harshest and most vocal critic. But his concern is shared by others, who point to the “SCAR,” made by Belgian armorer FN Herstal, and the HK416, produced by Germany’s Heckler & Koch, as possible contenders. Both weapons cost about the same as the M4, their manufacturers say.
The SCAR is being purchased by U.S. special operations forces, who have their own acquisition budget and the latitude to buy gear the other military branches can’t.”