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NYT: The Thinning of the Army (* destroying US Army)

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-03 10:55 AM
Original message
NYT: The Thinning of the Army (* destroying US Army)
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/29/opinion/29MON1.html

Over a third of the Army's active-duty combat troops are now in Iraq, and by spring the Pentagon plans to let most of them come home for urgently needed rest. Many will have served longer than a normal overseas tour and under extremely harsh conditions. When the 130,000 Americans rotate out for home leave, nearly the same number will rotate in. At that point, should the country need to send additional fighters anywhere else in the world, it will have dangerously few of them to spare.

This is the clearest warning yet that the Bush administration is pushing America's peacetime armed forces toward their limits. Washington will not be able to sustain the mismatch between unrealistic White House ambitions and finite Pentagon means much longer without long-term damage to our military strength. The only solution is for the Bush administration to return to foreign policy sanity, starting with a more cooperative, less vindictive approach to European allies who could help share America's military burdens.

Long months under constant threat of rocket attacks, roadside ambushes and deadly confrontations with civilians in Iraq have left tens of thousands of American soldiers tired, jumpy and badly in need of a break, one that should last at least several months. Most American strategists fear at least a temporary upsurge in attacks as the troop rotations get under way and maneuvering to produce an interim Iraqi government intensifies.

Well over 100,000 American troops will be needed for many more months, unless the Bush administration starts wooing NATO allies instead of snubbing them. Eventually, the Iraqi recruits now being hurriedly trained may provide some relief. Yet there are doubts about their military competence and political reliability, and fears that if Washington is in too much of a hurry, it will succeed only in recreating Saddam Hussein's old security forces in new American-issued uniforms.
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Frangible Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-03 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. yep
Rumsfeld greatly underestimated the duration of the conflict after the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! stuff.
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Caution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-03 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
2. What's the over-under on re-activation of the draft?
my guess is 11-15-04
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Zeke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-03 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. The Gambling Bug...
Sadly, I'll give you odds about the draft, my friend.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-03 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Place my bet on 1 March 2004
It's only six weeks after Re-Coronation Day. Just long enough to blunt any damage to the Massive Presidential Mandate from the People, but not so long that it makes people think of upcoming Tax-and-Spend Day (15 Apr).

The enabling bill will contain "softening" language to allow the chattering heads to deny that Bush wants a draft. None the less, the first call ups should begin by the end of the year, especially if Team Bush wants to "secure" Syria, Iran, and/or North Korea.

I wonder when all the Earl Turner wannabes on FR will "take up Arms in the Defence of our Liberties Moft Sacred". Or just write some letters to the editor that are even half as inflammatory as those they wrote about Big Bad Bill Clinton.

Bush will go down in history as being worse than Richard Nixon. This time, I hope that the Republican Party faces the choice of growing a conscience or being destroyed in favor of a different political party.

--bkl
But a boy can have dreams, can't he?
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-03 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I think they are already sharpening knives in Republican land
Edited on Mon Dec-29-03 12:27 PM by realpolitik
A staunch conservative friend of mine recently broke out weeping in anger over *'s budget.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-03 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. The Silver Lining to This Cloud Is---
Edited on Mon Dec-29-03 07:41 PM by Demeter
There won't be any Army or National Guard to enforce Patriot Act II, the FBI sure as hell won't be able to, local cops are going to steer clear, and the whole teetering edifice of NeoconAmerica is going to come crashing down, overwhelmed by its design flaws and defiance of any laws, be they Federal, economic, natural, or universal.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-03 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
7. How many of these stop-lossed troops are going to return
for another stint when their R&R is over? That is the
burning question.
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