The Army's long relationship with the Humvee could be coming to an end as it seeks better ways to protect soldiers from roadside bombs. The Army's proposed budget doesn't include money for the all-terrain Humvees produced by Mishawaka, Ind.-based AM General. An Army spokesman said the 2,620 vehicles the Army already has ordered will be the last it buys.
The Humvee gained popularity in the 1991 Gulf War and became a cultural icon after then-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger persuaded AM General to make a civilian version. But concerns over its safety rose as insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan developed powerful improved explosive devices. IEDs killed at least 1,700 soldiers in Iraq as of January.
U.S. and Iraqi soldiers targeting a Shiite militia that had been smuggling weapons in southern Iraq killed at least five people, angering provincial officials who accused U.S. forces of using excessive force. U.S. officials said the operation in Maysan Province, which borders Iran, targeted Kataib Hezbollah, a Shiite militia.
The U.S. military said that when U.S. and Iraqi soldiers arrived in Ali ash Sharqi village, they came under fire from people in houses. The soldiers "returned fire, killing individuals assessed to be enemy combatants," the military said. It said at least five people were killed.
The province's governor, Mohammed Shyaa al-Sudani, told the state-run al-Iraqiya news station that eight people were killed. Witnesses said at least one was a woman. "What happened this morning in the province was a massacre," the governor told the station.