Murphy's Law: September 18, 2003


Their fathers, who fought in Vietnam, would be aghast, and jealous, but today's soldier takes advantage of technology in ways the war planners hadn't anticipated. In Iraq, the biggest problem is the heat, especially if you are out in it wearing a flak jacket and helmet. One of the more popular items to deal with the heat is a high tech "underarmor" t-shirt (at $25 each). Using a special fabric that draws the sweat away from the skin, it actually increases the cooling process that sweating evolved to take care of. Once back from a patrol, and maybe a hairy ambush, troops have been cooling off by ordering up portable air conditioners and portable refrigerators from home. Both items can be had for less than a hundred bucks, and unit commanders have worked hard to get their hands on enough generators to keep up with the demand. Espresso machines are also popular, as are game consoles and laptops. Internet access is hard to come by, at least officially. But there is a thriving black market in net access arranged by Signal Corps troops willing to risk a court martial for misappropriating government property (in this case, Internet access). It all takes the edge off the combat experience. Not everyone has these goodies, but as with every war, some troops have a talent for getting their off duty lives organized. Unlike Vietnam, the troops in Iraq have no access to alcohol or loose women. For thousands of years, those were the favorite off duty recreation of troops. High tech underwear, a cold drink, a cool room and a hot video game may not be an adequate substitute, but the troops learn to cope. 


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close