They have not flip-flopped; rather, they simply lied to the public to mask their true intentions. ? TN Editor
The new combat vehicles must be "optimized for fighting in dense urban terrain." Fighting in narrow streets, in turn, requires smaller vehicles than the massive M1 — and one way to reduce weight is to take the humans out.
After 20 years of cancelled programs, the Army now wants prototypes of all-new robotic and "optionally manned" combat vehicles by 2019 so soldiers can begin field-testing them in 2020. Compared to current vehicles, they'll be lighter, smaller and optimized for urban combat, said Brig. Gen. David Lesperance, head of the armor school at Fort Benning, Ga. and the hand-picked head of the service's Cross-Functional Team on future ground vehicles.