I agree somewhat with the article. I think an new intermediate cartridge is a good idea, but I fear proper field testing of multiple platforms will be overlooked based on the same politics that landed us the M9/92FS Beretta. In my opinion the Arms Room solution is the best way to go, but there will be several constraints. One, this means soldiers have to qualify on more weapon systems and optics. The result will be more of a jack of all trades on the weapon systems and less subject matter experts. The other challenge will be funding. Range time cost money. The Army has repeatedly turned to simulators to meet this short fall. You'll find them for everything from pistols to tank gunnery. Nothing beats real range time dealing with fatigue and environmental conditions. Soldiers must fire their weapons in wind and rain to understand how the conditions effect their optics/sights and where the rounds will actually land.
We also have to account for our current equipment loadouts. For everyone wanting the garand and M14 to come back in a big way I challenge you to gear up in the current battle rattle. The current IBAS (thanks to CNN) has 4 plates. Many soldiers are also having to wear DAPS and Shoulder Pads. Now add your basic ammo load, NVG's, First Aid Kit (very bulky), and and assortment of the following: a couple of radios, smoke, flares, grenades, seat belt cutter, DAGR or PLGR, compass, laser range finder, Tripod, T&E, grenade launcher, binos, breach kit, crew served ammo (everyone gets a piece of that), spare barrels and a ruck or assault pack with even more crap. Ever see the kid from "A Christmas Story" after his mom dressed him to go outside, that's how a modern Infantryman feels on the battlefield. Don't forget all the guchi gear on our carbines: BUIS, Optic (CCO, EOTECH or ACOG), PEQ 15, Surefire. You might have an M203 with the fancy new laser sight. You would be amazed at the looks of terror from senior leaders when you start pulling gear off and throwing it in a connex to get soldiers down to a reasonable load for an 8 hour dismounted patrol. So you can see why I would prefer a smaller lighter rifle over the M14 or Garand.
In the meantime their are some fixes the military could immediately introduce to improve the function of our carbines and effectiveness of our soldiers. CLP does not belong in a desert environment. I used Militech for two tours to Iraq. Never once had a malfunction. My entire company used it both times even tough the Army says we shouldn't. It's basically a dry lube. It would be nice if boresnakes were issued so we didn't have to buy our own (they can be ordered through SAMS-E, but it costs the unit). Most of the dirty weapons I've seen come from POGs so I won't address that. The other thing that needs to immediately change is our qualification tables. The 300 meter popup range is good, but we zero and go straight to the qual range. It needs to be a requirement to zero (preferably at 50 meters instead of the current 25m), then spend time on a 25 meter range working on groups. Next should be a know distance range so soldiers can confirm zeros and see where their rounds land out to 500 meters. Next is the qual range, here we should engage moving targets in addition to the pop-up targets. I've never seen haji stand around waiting to get shot! It amazes me to go to Tank and Bradley Gunnery and get to engage moving targets, but never on a rifle range (unless you are a Marine).