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Why the U.S. Army Needs Armor

The Case for a Balanced Force

Ever since World War II, the United States has depended on armored forces -- forces equipped with tanks and other protected vehicles -- to wage its wars. General Omar Bradley, the senior field commander of the U.S. ground forces that conquered Nazi Germany, noted in his official after-action report that tank warfare, especially when combined with airpower, proved essential in defeating the Wehrmacht. "The air-armor team is a most powerful combination in the breakthrough and in exploitation," he wrote, adding, "the use of this coordinated force, in combat, should be habitual." In the decades that followed, the U.S. military frequently employed armored forces, relying on them during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Afghan war, and the Iraq war.

Organized into units called "armored brigade combat teams," which consist of about 4,500 soldiers outfitted with Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the U.S. Army's

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