Is the us military prepared?
in short, no, and yes. i've been hearing alot of news about how the standard hmmwv isn't up to spec for the operations they are going on. opinions on gear from this iraqi war vet:
hmmwv: the standard thin skin humvee is not nearly up to spec for the challenges we face. this goes for the deuce, five ton and most other trucks used by troops in iraq. why not? well, the doors, walls, etc of the vehicle is either thin kevlar or thin steel. a soldier's blessing is the "up armor" humvee, which consists of doors, walls, floorboards and roof of thick reinforced steel. it also has plates around the turret to help save the gunner, the most vulnerable individual in the vehicle. the problem is that these up armors cost a friggin ton, and aren't foolproof.
weaponry and individual defense: a qulified yes...military weaponry is generaly the best of the not so good. the m16, beretta, saw, 240b and mk 19 (the weapons i have personal experience with) are up to the job, when they work right. the down side is that they don't always work right, being mass produced by the lowest bidder. soldier attentiveness and care can go a long way toward fixing this. and as for body armor, i have seen a soldier take direct ak rounds to the chest (while taking a piss...a story for another time) and get up to immedieatly return fire. the interceptor armor sucks to wear but rocks as protection, the downside being that without the ceramic plates it's useless. hopefully, everybody there has them by now (when i first went north we didn't) but even still a shot to the side can be lethal.
training: depends on who you're talking about. the army rangers and general infintary are trained beyond belief, same for most legs and even reservist combat and combat support units. the problem is, many non combat units are now being retrained into combat jobs, in a big fuckin hurry, causing a massive amount of problems, from rounds shot off accidently to stupid, life threatening mistakes.
how much does this all matter is the question? well, for one thing, even the most piss poorly armed rear eschelon soldier is still one hundred times better off than the terrorists on the other side for gear and training. the folks on the other side are riding around in beat ass toyota pickups, with soviet leftover ak's and homemade bombs, often with zero actual military training.
ask yourself, how often have you heard soldiers either over there or coming home bitch about this? a few here and there, probably, but by and large the realities of the situation are understood. sure, it'd be great if everybody could roll around in an abrams or stryker with a full auto rifle...and it'd be nice if we had a magic beam that can determine terrorists vs. peaceful iraqis and drop them dead on the spot. not happening.
the point is that there is a job to be done, and it gets done. if we were running around stabbing them with spears and wearing wooden armor, it would still get done. at fort dix, there's a statue called "the ultimate weapon" of an american doughboy in action. no matter what adversity, we're still the best in the biz.