I loved the scenes in the old Hollywood movies where kings and generals had these large tables or floor areas and a map would be sat upon it. On this map would be little figures of soldiers, cannons, ships, etc. This was the method used to plan out attack strategies and scenarios, an early version of strategic planning and “command and control”. I wonder if GWB has such a setup in the Oval Office?
If he does, and needs more soldiers for the battlefield, all he has to do is send an aide to Toys-R-Us to buy more. In the real world, things aren’t that simple!
GWB is calling for an increase in troop levels by increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps. He finally “realizes” that we are NOT winning in Iraq and those pesky Taliban that we defeated and chased across the border into Pakistan (our ally) have come back and are starting to add to the killed American troop figures again.
Considering the fact that we could at any moment need troops to deal with a crisis in another area such as dealing with that “troll doll” Kim Jong Il in North Korea or an escalation in the Middle East by the Iranians and their nutbag leader Ahmadinejad, it seems we are left with quite a quandary for “The Decider” to decide on.
It takes 30-45 days for a recruit to go through basic training alone. This would make that person a “minimally” trained soldier. Our’s is a military of specialization and training soldiers on our high-tech weapons systems surely takes more than a few weeks. Then, you have to consider how are you going to get these extra troops? Recruiting goals are either not being met, or barely being met, depending on who you talk to. The figure stated in the press is at least a 7000 person increase. In order to get the 7000 people, it is going to take awhile. Also, how many troops currently in the Army and Marine Corps now serving are going to be leaving the “War on Terror” battlefield in the near future because their commitments are up? Additionally, what of the National Guard troops that are being utilized now? They can’t be used indefinitely to shore up gapping holes in the war plan that the regular troops can’t fulfill. Sounds like 2007 will be the year that the nasty five letter word will have to be issued from The Decider’s lips…DRAFT!
The treaty commitments and alliances that we are honor bound to fill if the military is needed somewhere else could become the “straw that broke the camels back”. All it takes is one more conflict and we are in a fix. The reason we have been a success on the stage of foreign affairs has been the might of our military to back up our position. American foreign policy has gone from negotiating from a position of strength to pleading with our dwindling list of Allies for “consensus”.
SCREW CONSENSUS! There are religious zealots wearing towels on their heads that want us
dead to convert to Islam and submit to its 14th Century ways, or to die. The segment of people in the “religion of peace” that feel this way is growing day by day. GWB does have one thing right, this War on Terror will go on for at least a generation, because the flames of radical Islam are being fed by those who we are helping through our dependence on oil. If you eliminate the need for a predominately petroleum based energy infrastructure, the Middle East will once again become a region of minor importance on the globe.
Pat Buchanan had a good article on the above that eloquently further illustrates the dangers of our lack of trained soldiers and it is worth a read. He especially reinforces my “Wolf Kill” theory (see previous post) about the current world situation that we find ourselves in. The following quote from his article highlights this…
Our Army, says Abizaid, is not “built to sustain a long war.” Yet we are committed by NATO to defend Central and Eastern Europe – including the Baltic republics and the eastern Balkans, against a resurgent Russia. We are committed to defend Israel, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states from Iran. We are committed to defend Afghanistan from the Taliban, South Korea from North Korea, and Japan and Taiwan from China.
The American Imperium is hollow. We have nowhere near the troops to sustain the security commitments and war guarantees we have ladled out. Like the Brits in 1945, ours is an overstretched empire with a sinking currency, whose enemies are salivating at the prospect of being in on the kill.
Pat Buchanan is spot on…and we need to get ready for the next chapter of The War on Terror, and fast!