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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 11:51 PM
Original message
Officials Debate Whether to Seek a Bigger Military
WASHINGTON, July 20 The strains on American ground forces as the Bush administration extends their global missions are prompting new debates on Capitol Hill and within the Pentagon over the question of whether the military needs more troops worldwide.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and senior military officers spent time over the weekend considering how to assign enough soldiers to fill the long-term mission of stabilizing Iraq while simultaneously fulfilling other overseas commitments and providing security against terrorism at home and abroad.

Mr. Rumsfeld has been telling Congress in recent days that before the Pentagon takes the major step of asking for money to enlarge the military, he hopes to cut back on less urgent foreign assignments, to move people in uniform out of administrative tasks and back into combat units and to change the balance of assignments between active-duty forces and those in the National Guard and Reserves.

A senior adviser to the defense secretary said that while it was easy enough to identify how many Army or Marine Corps troops the Pentagon needed for the global campaign against terror and for extended tours of duty on the ground in Iraq, Mr. Rumsfeld made no final decisions over the weekend. He waits for a larger blueprint from the military that would make new troop rotations more predictable.

more
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/21/international/worldsp...
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. What is this crap? More money won't get us a bigger military. A draft will
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I AM SPARTACUS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. sniff...sniff...I better check my shoes, I think I stepped in something
...oh, it's an upcoming DRAFT that I smell...
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. The first part of this is the plan to empty out the Pentagon...
... of the military, then replace those people with private contractors. Rummy thinks that will swell the ranks on the ground, but it won't. There just aren't that many enlisted personnel assigned to the Pentagon.

When that doesn't make a difference, there will, perhaps, be deals such as were done during the Viet Nam wars, to give people in military and civilian prisons the option of having their sentence commuted in exchange for volunteering for service.

But, if there's another war planned, all bets are off--the military will be stretched too thin, and something else will have to be done.

What's odd about this is the timing. Most of the large basic training bases in the U.S. have been closed, or their facilities greatly reduced. It would likely take nine months to a year (and a lot of money) to make even a few of them operational again. To maintain troop strengths in the range of the Viet Nam war, that would mean 50,000-60,000 new recruits per month. Even if the administration started now, they would not see troops in the field, trained and ready to go, for twelve to sixteen months. That's July, 2004 to November, 2004--too late to do any real strategic good, and early enough to give Bush and his gang some political willies. If it happens (and neither Rumsfeld nor the top military want it), a decision certainly won't be made until after the elections.

Until then, the soldiers will not get much relief.
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Johnyawl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Exactly right, punpirate!
The first part of this is the plan to empty out the Pentagon of the military, then replace those people with private contractors. Rummy thinks that will swell the ranks on the ground, but it won't.

The corporations that get the contracts to run the Pentagon functions don't have people to perform those jobs just lying around. They'll need to hire them, and the people that they'll recruit will be the military personnel that are currently doing those jobs. The ones with enough years will retire, and show up to the same job the next day in civvies, probably making more money. (while drawing their military retirement)

But even the ones who don't have their 20 years in, are still going to leave in droves. If you've been a "remington raider" for 8 to 10 years, and your cushy little office job is being outsourced, and it looks like you're going to wind up on the ground in Irag, Afghanistan, or Liberia, weeeeelll those recruitment inducements from Wackenhut are going to start looking mighty tempting.

Over the long run, it will do what they want, i.e., reduce the military headcount sitting at desks, and replace it with military headcount in the field. But you're right; this is not a short term fix to their problem.

And there is no short term fix to their problem. The only effective way to deal with this problem, is to get our front line combat units out of Iraq. And the only way we can do this is to get the UN to take responsibility for it, and they won't do that unless we turn over the administration of Iraq to the UN, and we won't do that cause then we wouldn't control the oil. It's just a horrible, and costly little catch 22 for Rummy, and his boys.

And there's a couple of other little hitches to their plans. The RW has been trying to reduce the human costs in the DoD for some time. Reduce manpower, close bases, spend all the money on huge expensive toys that make the military/industrial complex so profitable. With the largest defecits in history, and enormous tax cuts kicking in for the next several years, where are they going to get the money to pay for all the military hardware, AND add several more front line combat divisions?

And a draft?? Who's going to be stupid enough to suggest a draft at the moment in time that US deaths are escalating in a guerilla war? One only hopesthe bush administration is that stupid.

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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 04:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Who's stupid enough to suggest a draft...?
The Democrats, that's who. *sigh*

Charlie Rangel has already done it, because he thinks he can get a bill through which would put the sons of the rich and powerful in harm's way, just like all the peons, and thereby reform a system which puts the poor at a disadvantage and would make war less likely.

Admirable notion, but, it isn't going to happen. Never has happened in the past. And particularly with the Congress we have now. If there's a resumption of the draft, it will be full of loopholes, and the Democrats will get the blame for suggesting it.
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Porcupine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Wishfull thinking trumps reality again!!! Instant Army, just add money...
This is the problem of being surrounded by yes men. There is always somebody nearby to tell you that you can get what you want no matter the reality. At some point reality MUST catch up to them.

The truth is that modern armies require several rear echelon types to support a single grunt with a gun. They also require trained and experienced non-commisioned officers. Simply rounding up a few hundred thousand city kids and handing them M-16's will not do.

I have to wonder just what kind of pills Rummy is taking. Their approach just isn't working. Why can't they get it?
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. A DRAFT WITH TONS OF LOOPHOLES
If anyone including Charley Rangel ( A Legitmate Veteran of Korea ) Thinks the rich are going to submit to a draft-- they are smoking dope.

remember Quayle-- remember Bush-- remember Limbaugh with a boil on his ass.

Draft supporters in this war are several cards short of a full deck.

LOL
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
6. *cough* It's drafty in here *cough*
:(
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Noordam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. A lot of people in the Military are looking to go civilan
One enlisted man I know has a $200,000 offer on the table to do the same job he does now. He has around one year more on his enlistment.

What do you think he is looking at??? LOL...

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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
9. This is BAD, folks.
The debate is really one about balancing risks the risk that there will not be enough soldiers to carry out diverse missions or that current troops will not re-enlist after repeated, exhausting assignments that degrade their quality of life and do not leave enough time for training. The risk that money spent on personnel will not be available for important new technology and for modernizing the current arsenal must be weighed against those.

At present, about 370,000 Army troops are deployed in 120 countries, from a total active-duty force of about 491,000, according to Pentagon statistics. Army reservists and National Guard members on active duty this month total 136,835, out of a force of about 550,000.

The Marine Corps has a total force of about 176,000, and about 20,000 of its reservists are now on active duty as well, from a pool of 39,000. About 9,000 marines are now in Iraq.


The bottom line is, we're seriously overextended, and people aren't exactly camping out in front of recruiters' offices like they were giving away Phish tickets. As long as the Bushies continue to abuse the troops like they are doing, this will continue.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
11. Needed a decision months ago
<The Democrat, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, said, "I think we need to make a decision very quickly, within weeks, about whether we need to increase the end-strength of the Army."

While he agrees with Mr. Rumsfeld that efficiencies can be found in the "tooth-to-tail ratio" of combat forces to administrative and support functions, Mr. Reed said, "We are going to be committed in Iraq in a way that we did not anticipate," adding that the Afghan mission will require years to complete and the North Korean threat dictates "a continued, forceful military complement." >

No planning here at all.

<Mr. Rumsfeld made no final decisions over the weekend. He waits for a larger blueprint from the military that would make new troop rotations more predictable. >

As if the unpredictability wasn't caused by him and the dim wit. We don't need to hire any more people we'll get more out of the people we have. Sound familiar? How can you plan when you don't want anyone to know where you'll be starting the next war?


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