The United States military fielded the venerated Humvee to be its tactical transport vehicle in the 1980s at the height of the cold war. Designed for the European terrain, the Humvee was extremely robust and maneuverable, while at the same time provided adequate protection and mobility in numerous types of terrains. It was built to handle anything the east bloc countries could throw at it.
However, after the 9/11 attacks, America shifted its gaze to the Middle East and the Humvee encountered a whole new type of enemy, one that refrained from open war and instead took to guerrilla warfare in urban environments. Such tactics rendered the revered Humvee unable to provide the level of protection it once did, resulting in over three thousand American casualties.
In response to the new threat, the United States approved production of a whole new family of vehicles that can take on insurgents and guerrillas. The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program presents a well-rounded holistic solution for the problems faced in the Middle East. These vehicles provide protection against numerous types of explosives while still maintaining their mobility and their ability to navigate the roughest of terrains. However, experts doubt whether these vehicles would see any significant combat. That’s because the military currently owns and operates tens of thousands of Humvees and replacing all of them would take the better part of the next decade. If the US were to go to war with a major power like China or Russia, there is little chance for the JLTVs to be included into the US fleet.
This might very well mean that soldiers may have to go to the next big war in Humvees, with limited protection.