Wednesday :: Aug 23, 2006

Bush's War Straining the Military


by Mary

New evidence that the war in Iraq is severely straining the volunteer military showed up today with the news that the Marine corp will be calling up reservists on an involuntary basis. These callups are needed because the Marine Corps has been unable to find enough volunteers to fill the needs of the war.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said the Marines' ready reserve call-up was an example of the wear and tear the Iraq war had inflicted on the armed services, a stress that could hurt the military in the months and years to come.

"The right way to address the issue is to increase the size of the military so you do not have to rely on the call-up of the individual ready reserve," Reed said. "We should have raised the strength of the Army and Marine Corps three years ago…. It does underscore the strain that is being placed on the land forces — the Army and the Marines."

Frederick W. Kagan, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who has written about what he calls a military manpower crisis, argued that the involuntary call-ups were the latest sign that a larger ground force was needed. The increasing length of combat tours, the extensive use of National Guard combat units and the stop-loss orders all show the military is scrambling to meet the demands placed on it, he said.

"It is one of an avalanche of symptoms that the ground forces are overstretched by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan," Kagan said. "This administration needs to understand this is not a short-term problem, and it really needs a systemic fix in the size of the ground forces."

So as the British troop draw down, the US military is calling on our volunteer troops to cover more and more, with no end in sight. What a mess you've made this time, George.

Mary :: 7:20 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!