Monday, March 19, 2007

Four years on: Feeling any safer?

Look at it on the bright side--or at least what passes for it these days where Bush's failed war in Iraq is concerned:

If Bush was right all those times when he insisted that we're "fighting the enemy over there so we don't have to fight them over here," then the good news is that it may not matter quite so much that we no longer have enough military personnel and equipment to fight them here--or anyplace else, apparently.

According to Ann Scott Tyson in the Washington Post:
Four years after the invasion of Iraq, the high and growing demand for U.S. troops there and in Afghanistan has left ground forces in the United States short of the training, personnel and equipment that would be vital to fight a major ground conflict elsewhere, senior U.S. military and government officials acknowledge.

More troubling, the officials say, is that it will take years for the Army and Marine Corps to recover from what some officials privately have called a "death spiral," in which the ever more rapid pace of war-zone rotations has consumed 40 percent of their total gear, wearied troops and left no time to train to fight anything other than the insurgencies now at hand.

The risk to the nation is serious and deepening, senior officers warn, because the U.S. military now lacks a large strategic reserve of ground troops ready to respond quickly and decisively to potential foreign crises, whether the internal collapse of Pakistan, a conflict with Iran or an outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula. Air and naval power can only go so far in compensating for infantry, artillery and other land forces, they said. An immediate concern is that critical Army overseas equipment stocks for use in another conflict have been depleted by the recent troop increases in Iraq, they said.

"We have a strategy right now that is outstripping the means to execute it," Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

Our strategy is outstripping the means to execute it. Now isn't that a fine euphemism?

So. Feeling any safer?

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