The M-1 Abrams will get a tryout in Afghanistan. The reasons appear sound:
The deployment of a company of M1 Abrams tanks, which will be fielded by the Marines in the country's southwest, will allow ground forces to target insurgents from a greater distance - and with more of a lethal punch - than is possible from any other U.S. military vehicle. The 68-ton tanks are propelled by a jet engine and equipped with a 120mm main gun that can destroy a house more than a mile away.
Despite an overall counterinsurgency strategy that emphasizes the use of troops to protect Afghan civilians from insurgents, statistics released by the NATO military command in Kabul and interviews with several senior commanders indicate that U.S. troop operations over the past two months have been more intense and have had a harder edge than at any point since the initial 2001 drive to oust the Taliban government.
The pace of Special Operations missions to kill or capture Taliban leaders has more than tripled over the past three months. U.S. and NATO aircraft unleashed more bombs and missiles in October - 1,000 total - than in any single month since 2001. In the districts around the southern city of Kandahar, soldiers from the Army's 101st Airborne Division have demolished dozens of homes that were thought to be booby-trapped, and they have used scores of high-explosive line charges - a weapon that had been used only sparingly in the past - to blast through minefields.
The president has all but abandoned the idea of bringing home the extra troops he deployed next year. That's the good news. The bad news is the arrival of the tanks means our men are getting more resistance than anticipated, and it's becoming a harder slog to clear the Taliban fighters than planned for.
Watch as Iran starts supplying the Taliban not only with IED's, but tank killing missiles as well. This kind of escalation demands a response and Iran will be eager to make propaganda hay of taking out a tank or two - if they can. Those M-1's are lethal. Just ask the Iraqi military who fought "The Mother of all Tank Battles" during the Gulf War.
Final score: M-1: 150. Iraqi Soviet T-55: Zero