POGO looking for more Stryker info

Tell us the Truth about the Stryker

The Project On Government Oversight, the organization that made the Initial Impressions report on the Stryker’s performance public, has put out a call for opinions from Stryker Brigade soldiers.

Hard to tell whether they really want the facts or if they’re simply looking to build their case that the Stryker isn’t all that great. I’ll give them credit for publicly asking for opinions from those who would know, though.

I’ve been remiss about following up on that report. To be honest, I was a bit surprised by the amount of coverage the whole thing received. As I mentioned in my first post on the report, it really looks like a good review of lessons learned during the first year in Iraq, and is exactly the sort of thing we should expect (demand?) from our military. Nothing, especially a new vehicle in a new environment, is going to be even close to perfect, and measuring real-world performance and making corrections is the only way to get there.

Rather than seeing the report as a damning condemnation, I simply see it as a step in the process of making the Stryker the best that it can be.


  1. The Initial Impressions Report lacks detailed data and context, probably deliberately for OPSEC concerns. This leaves a lot of room to misinterpret the summaries. I detailed this in POGO’s comments sction on the related post. While the intention may be sincere, my gut reaction is that they are trolling for bad news the same way John Kerry is looking for military families to write him about the hardships they’ve had to endure. http://www.johnkerry.com/action/shareyourstory.php

  2. this is a repost from what I wrote at the POGO blog http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2005/04/tell_us_the_tru.html#comments Ryan, I don’t think anyone at POGO doubts that many soldiers think the Stryker is a great vehicle. And we want to know if that’s true [clearly many do]. But a videotape distributed by the Army filled to the brim with positive testimonies about the Stryker in response to the public airing of the Army’s own critical eval of the Stryker is fishy (and a little schizo if you think about it). It looks like the Army’s doing damage control. I’ll be straight up. We’re looking for the whole story, not just the negatives. That said, we do emphasize problems, because the people who give these vehicles a positive spin–the defense contractors, embarrassment-averse officials, pork-addicted politicians, etc–are much more powerful. We don’t make up the problems we point out, this is what the Army itself has said in its own internal documents. Although I’m not ex-military, my dad is and many POGO employees are as well. Regardless, we might disagree over our final interpretations and recommendations, but we all want the best for our troops. -Nick at POGO