Blasting the Crusader

Why the Army's newest and biggest gun may become a target for Bush's Defense Department

Deep in the southwestern corner of Arizona, the dun-colored desert shudders underfoot as the Army's newest big gun, belching flame and smoke, blasts fire extinguisher-size artillery rounds farther and faster than ever before. Now under development, the Crusader is the world's most fearsome mobile howitzer. It is also among the costliest and heaviest ever built. And because of all that, it may be one of the fattest targets for the Bush Defense Department. Incoming Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is under orders from the new Commander in Chief "to challenge the status quo inside the Pentagon." Rumsfeld will almost certainly be backed...

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