As Iraqi Army Flounders, US Army On Verge Of Staffing Crisis
(graphic courtesy of New York Times)
"We don't want to take responsibility; we don't want it....Here, no way. The way the situation is, we wouldn't be ready to take responsibility for a thousand years."
-- Amar Mana, 27, an Iraqi army private
On a day when the Washington Post runs a Page One story on the improbability of Iraqi forces taking on more and more responsibility for their own security, the Pentagon waited until today to announce the deaths of another 6 soldiers in attacks from yesterday. 12 other soldiers have been injured in bombings over the last two days, and it appears that as T2 says in a comment thread below, we’ll sadly pass the 1700-death mark over the weekend.
This comes at a time when the Army has missed its recruiting target routinely over the last several months, and admits it will miss its target this year and next year. In fact, the Army got only 63% of its May recruiting target, even after lowering it and holding on to the bad news until today. And with our own troops telling us that the Iraqis won’t be ready any time soon to protect themselves, Bush is presiding over a dangerous “hollowing out” of our armed forces, so bad that standards are being weakened just in order to keep enough warm bodies in uniform. As proof of that, a guest on Olbermann’s show Wednesday said we are within six months of a crisis of inadequate manpower to support the Iraq and Afghanistan missions.