Friday, December 01, 2006

The Best Led, Trained, and Equipped Army

In light of ongoing claims from the newly elected Democrats and other left leaning socialists of how "broken" our Army is, Department of Defense has issued a statement refuting those claims.

Nov. 21, 2006 — In a November 19 editorial (“The Army We Need”), the New York Times makes a number of statements that merit responses:

TIMES CLAIM: The Army’s end strength “needs to be increased by some 75,000 to 100,000 troops.”

FACTS: The Army’s active force has increased by some 20,000 soldiers in the last six years. The “Operational Army”—those who deploy and fight—has been significantly increased by internal restructuring, which will add some 40,000 additional soldiers to the operational side by 2008.

TIMES CLAIM: A higher end strength would enable “a doubling of special operations forces.”

FACTS: Since Fiscal Year 2001 the budget for special operations forces has more than doubled. By 2011, the Special Operations Forces will be the largest they have been in more than 30 years, which will be a 50 percent increase in personnel from 2001.

TIMES CLAIM: The “morale and confidence of America’s serving men and women” needs to be restored.

FACTS: The Army successfully met its recruiting goal of 80,000 individuals this year, the second highest goal since 1990. Reenlistment rates remain high, especially among troops who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq.

TIMES CLAIM: Work needs to be done in order to “repair[] the damage done to America’s military capacities and credibility.”

FACTS: The average soldier and Army unit today has far more and better equipment, and has received far more training than in the past—not to mention sweeping transformations of technology and organization. General Schoomaker has called this Army the “the best led, trained and equipped Army that I’ve ever seen in the field.”

Source: DoD

This same claim was being made by Democrats in 1983 when President Reagan was using our troops in Central America. In spite of that, once the Democrats took control of the White House in 1993, furthering what President H.W. Bush started, they decimated our Military numbers and ended up deploying our troops more than either Republcian President before President Clinton.

They decry troop readiness while advertising every negative comment they can about serving in the Military and then complain that only the poor and uneducated end up serving.

Mention of a draft by Democrat Congressmen brings cries of it's only a ploy, he shaking Bush up and such other nonsense, but Congressman Rangel isn't backing off. This also after newly elected and Speaker in Waiting, Nancy Pelosi, has promised to "double the Special Forces." Do they think people will flock to recruitment centers just because Democrats once again grabbed power back, after the years of badmouthing that they have dedicated towards our Military?

Our Military has exceeded enlistment goals in recent years, all while we are at war and retentions rates are better than expected. Still, all we hear from Democrats is how "broken" the Military is, along with their snide comments about how one must be stupid to serve or disadvantaged and can't do anything better.

Come January, Democrats, you will have Congressional Power and it will be upon you to deal with matters and work with President Bush. I await to see how your hollow promises of "civility" and desire to "work with" President Bush work out as your words come abck to haunt you once you discover you have no real new direction or ideas for the country. All this as you once again try to make the Military your new Social experimentation outlet again.



u∃∃l!∃ said...

The comic has me thinking me about something I have pondered before.
Suppose I didn’t agree with the war (I haven’t really decided yet).
Even I didn’t agree with the war, I would not want my beliefs to effect the moral of the soldier in the field. I used to think about this sort of thing when we were “playing war” during training exercises. A belief that what I was doing, was of real value, would have been very critical to my moral and my ability to continue to perform.
Hence my dilemma. I don’t believe in blind following (not to be confused with following orders of leaders while in the military). As a citizen, I feel it is my duty to act, utilizing my free speech and voting power, if I feel our government is making bad decisions.
How can one do this, without having a negative impact on the soldier fighting the war?

Here is a comic you might like, it makes a point you might agree with even if you don’t care for this guy’s dry humor:
Ignoring The New Hitler

u∃∃l!∃ said...

I am off subject Lew,
but when did you switch to the Beta version?
Does it bug you at all?

Canuckguy said...

You seem to be knowledgeable about the US military. I made some comments on the ‘Blogs for Bush’ site questioning troop strength issues making what I considered sensible points but I was ignored (as usual). So now you are making some comment disputing the Times claim that much bodies are needed. So of course I will throw in my two canadian cents again.

So I will go by memory here since I can’t find my Bush Blog comment. I agree with the Times based on the following and correct me if I am wrong.
1. The total US military is 1.4 million (navy & marines, air force, regular army and national guard)
2. The total ground troops is 420,000 including the marines.
3. There are about 125,000 ground troops in Iraq now with another 15,000 in Afghanistan for a total of 140,000.
4. There is a 6 month rotation for the military in these two theaters.
5. Therefore with 140,000 currently in Iraq / Afghanistan, then another 140,000 have rotated out plus another 140,000 getting ready to rotate in which adds up to my estimate of 420,000 ground troops.

So I believe that is putting a severe strain on the troops, no wiggle room. The Times estimation of how much more is needed seems reasonable to me. What do you say to that?

LewWaters said...

coboble, it is very difficult, especially during war, to adequately voice opposition with our leaders and it not have an effect on the troops morale. Sometimes, as did Republicans during WW2, it is best to either quietly encourage a shift in actions or stay quiet. Before we oppose, every effort must be made to ensure our opposition is based on solid fact and not misguided personal feelings. At times, I feel we must place the welfare of our fighting people over our own feelings. Difficult? Yes. Necessary? I think so.

Yes, I switched to the new beta and so far, haven't had any problems. I like it much more than the regular blogger, easier to post and navigate. Sorry about not getting back earlier.

Canuck, I appreciate what the times says, although I disagree. If we are to change the war to one of the old fashioned street fighting as a main action, maybe more will be needed. But, as of yet, ground commanders haven't requested an increase, even though it has been said they are there if needed. I'll place my trust in them before the Times.

Of course, the ideal solution to destroy terrorists as much as possible, in my opinion, would be for our allies that are also threatened by terror to pitch in and fight them. Sitting idly by and watching, hoping to be able to pick up the pieces won't defeat terror.

Many disagree, but Iraq isn't a war by itself but another battle within the over all War on Terror. If we are worried about Iran, look around Iran and see just where all American Forces are located. Iran is nearly surrounded today.

Add in French, German, Russian, Canadian and other countries that chose to avoid Iraq and I believe Iran will the futility of their rant.

A united front is always stronger than one or two nations standing up.

Canuckguy said...

Got to take exception about your crack about Canada avoiding Iraq. Not getting involved with Iraq was the smartest move our Prime Minister at the time, made. It was Bushes dummest move.

We are , however pulling our weight in Afghanstan (unlike the Germans, Italians and Spanish there). We have a small military and we are stretched with Afghanistand alone.

History in the very near future will show you and the other hard core Republicans what a mess Iraq is and the blame must rest entirely on the Bush Administration.

LewWaters said...

canuck, my "crack" was to show that a united front against Saddam just might have avoided the war altogether. I realize Canadians are in Afghanistan and are fighting with all they have. The comment was not about the Military, but about government choices that I feel should have been to stop Saddam and his WMD programs, which nearly everybody's intelligence agancies felt was there.

Not to worry, I always have and will continue to hold Canadians in highe steem, even though some wanted to build a monument to Draft Dodgers.

On Iraq itself, I totally disagree with you. Comments made today by leaders from terrorist groups show what they have planned. Right in a Left World: Iraq Group Report; Road to Peace or Another Sell Out?. Too many from the left fail to see this struggle for what it is, an effort at world domination under radical Islam.

Therefore, I feel once the terrorists arrive in our own countries, anything held against Bush will be disolved and people will wake up to what was being fought and tried to stop. Its just unfortunate that we will have to see the fighting in our own streets before so many open their eyes and wake up.

Blame will have to fall on the left for their opposition to stopping these monsters who desire us all dead.