July 1st, 2010
11:08 AM ET

Senior U.S. commander restricts Humvee use in Afghanistan

The once-ubiquitous Humvee may become a rare sight in some parts of Afghanistan following a decision by the senior U.S. commander in eastern Afghanistan to restrict the use of the vehicles in the field.

Maj. Gen. John Campbell, commander of Joint Task Force-101, ordered this week that the use of Humvee vehicles outside a military base would have to specifically be approved by a colonel - one of the most senior field grade positions in the military.

 Prior to this, the use of High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV, or Humvee) had to be approved by a lower-ranking officer, according to Task Force spokesman Maj. Patrick Seiber.

Seiber said the decision was not specifically in reaction to a number of deadly IED attacks on troops in recent weeks, but is part of trying to improve protection for the force. The Humvee is heavily armored, but its flat bottom and low-to-the-ground profile has made it particularly vulnerable to attacks using improved explosive devices, or IEDs. In recent years, the military has fielded a new series of armored vehicles with V-shaped hulls to deflect the blast of roadside bombs, but even some of those have been destroyed in large-scale attacks.

Campbell's decision comes amid the release of figures showing that June has been the deadliest month of the war for the coalition across Afghanistan, with 101 coalition troops killed and about 400 U.S. troops wounded.

Casualties due to IED attacks continue to skyrocket. The Pentagon reports that in May 2010, the latest data available, the number of coalition forces - including Afghans - that were killed or wounded by IED attacks was 284, more than double the 104 killed or wounded in the same month last year. The number of overall IED attacks reached 1,128, compared to 513 in May 2009. The Pentagon statistics on IEDs include Afghan troop casualties because those units are suffering very high attacks rates, according to the Pentagon.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Free Advertisement here!!!

    this "damiao" uses these blogs to spread his spam

    July 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. adam

    hey smart guy, try improvised

    July 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wenton Chan

      Can't fault Barbara Starr, I mean she's only been CNN's senior correspondent to the DoD for the last 10 or so years...

      July 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mjk

    if our strategy to reduce casualties is to stop soldiers from leaving the base what are they doing there? i'm not an expert but seems to me that driving would be pretty important in any effort to win a war. If we can't drive, and we've been there since 2001 what are we gaining from all of this and why are we putting soldiers at risk if this is obviously such a lost cause.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keepingmyinsanity

      If you have no clue, then don't post. The military uses a wide variety of "armored" vehicles the exceed the protection of the Humvee. You should do more research before you post your opinion, otherwise, all we see is "blaa, blaa, blaa...blaa, blaa!"

      July 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Smith in Oregon

    By 2002 in Iraq, HumVees were entirely seen and understood to be a 'SOFT' target, meaning a single buried 155mm artillery shell IED would totally destroy them (from the Millions cached which the US Commanders in Iraq totally failed to secure, guard or dispose of before they were ALL STOLEN!). Now it is July 2010 and there is a directive some 8 years later and after countless US Soldiers have been blown-up inside HumVees to NOW restrict their use in Afghanistan? Your'e kidding right?! There is a lot of foobar going around in Afghanistan apparently!

    July 2, 2010 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Stump in Ohio

    The military just ordered 3000 more humvees from AM General. Let's spend hundreds of millions of dollars and then not even use them.

    July 2, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Floater in Michigan

      We use them for a variety of things hinse the name High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. Besides this is just in Afghanistan. We still have other purposes for them. Like use on base, in the states, and as well as in IRAQ. I would expect this from an ohio born person.

      July 8, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |