Pentagon Beefs Up Iraq Troop Humvee Security With Baby on Board Stickers

Washington, D.C., November 19, 2006 -- Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman announced today the US Defense Department will begin an immediate security upgrade process for soldiers stationed in Iraq by equipping unarmored and up-armored HMMWV vehicles (Humvees) with heavy-duty "Baby on Board" stickers.

Baby on Board Security Enhancer-equipped HumveeBaby on Board Security Enhancer-equipped Humvee

The Pentagon's action, which follows repeated urging to improve troop security by military commanders, friends and families of troops, independent military analysts, and the troops themselves, is expected to reduce troop fatalities due to roadside IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and sniper fire by at least 40%, based on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's personal projections.

"We're pleased to be taking this step to further protect the lives of our brave soldiers, who have been operating under severe and dangerous combat conditions for several years now with what we now recognize may be sub-grade equipment and armor," Mr. Whitman said. "We believe the Baby on Board program, or BOB, will significantly improve those conditions without laying a disproportionately large additional procurement burden at the feet of the American taxpayer."

The Pentagon has been widely criticized throughout the ongoing Iraq war for failing to provide adequately armored Jeeps, Humvees and flak jackets to troops active in conflict zones, primarily due to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's unusual Doctrine of Targeted Military Procurement. The doctrine, summarized by Rumsfeld's characteristically cryptic "Shiny gizmos and shady kickbacks, not hoops and scoops for fungible troops" (SKN-FLNT), has been blamed for up to 65% of all American casualties to date in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Whitman said BOB sticker production is expected to begin within a few months, with full deployment of the security enhancers to the 168,500 troops stationed in Iraq planned "before year-end, 2008".

Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's personal military contractor, has been awarded a no-bid contract to produce the heavy-duty BOB stickers at a cost to taxpayers of approximately $12,488 per sticker.

"These are serious, multi-functional, long-lasting Baby on Board stickers, not the crappy little ones you can get in the supermarket," Mr. Whitman said. "The Baby on Board message is printed on a thick slab of magnetized plastic backing with an extra-gummy adhesive coating on the front face. That way, it can either be attached to the outer frame of a Humvee or stuck on the windscreen, if the windscreen happens to be intact. The supermarket ones usually only have one of those little rubber suction cups, which wouldn't work effectively in Iraq's arid and windswept environment."

The BOB program is being offered by the Pentagon as an economical alternative to up-armoring more Humvees or providing troops with improved body armor and flak jackets, Mr. Whitman explained.

"This is a much more streamlined and cost-effective approach," Mr. Whitman said. "The BOB stickers are highly resilient. And if they happen to get damaged by incoming fire or an explosion, the surviving troops can always get themselves a new one at their own expense down at the local supermarket. Although in that case, of course, the military would be absolved of any financial responsibility for their death."

Mr. Whitman said the Pentagon and top military commanders in Iraq plan to equip all unarmored and up-armored Humvees and Jeeps with "up to one BOB sticker per vehicle. We're still trying to decide whether the best placement would be the front, the side, or the rear. You don't always know where the guy with the remote detonator might be hiding. The most important thing is that he gets a chance to clearly see the Baby on Board message, which we're pretty sure will make him think twice about pushing that plunger."

When questioned by a reporter as to whether it wouldn't be advisable to have the Baby on Board message written in Arabic, Mr. Whitman replied, "We've been around that part of the world long enough that most of these evildoers probably know English pretty good. Enough to read that simple message, anyway—it's not like it's Tolstoy or some such. Besides, Halliburton don't have any Arabic stickers in stock."

If the BOB program proves even moderately successful, Mr. Whitman said, the next step will include a new test run using "WWJD".

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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