Friday, December 22, 2006

Bush Seeks Increase In Size of Military

Bush recently called for an increase in the size of the military, particularly for ground forces.

He may have finally recognized complaints from military leaders who argued that the military was stretched too thin. The Bush administration finally had to come to terms with the fact that the U.S. military was too small to carry out an expansionist pro-war foreign policy. Any foreign policy mission (big or small) has to have a military large enough and effective enough to meet that mission.

The problem with this late change of position by the Bush administration is that it comes too late. But better late than never. It will take years for the Army and Marines to add 100,000 to 200,000 or more troops. The U.S. military can only add about 10,000 troops (or less) per year, according to its own estimates.

Meanwhile, Bush & Co. wants more troops for Iraq, hoping that more soldiers will save their failed (and already doomed) adventure there. However the nations top Generals are discouraging that idea.....and they are probably right for doing so. More troops at this point would just provide insurgents, eager for American blood, with more targets to attack. Plus, this comes at a time when the U.S. is trying to get the Iraqi's to become less dependent on U.S. help, so that they can fight on their own. If the U.S. is viewed as coming to the rescue everytime things get tough, then it will be harder to get Iraqis to take care of their own security. Iraqis will have no incentive for taking over.

It would have been better if there were more troops at the beginning of the war (although I didn't support the war in the first place....). But if you are going to fight it, fight it correctly from the start. The Generals were calling for a more robust force (about 400,000 to 500,000 troops) before the war, but their requests were turned down by Bush & Co. Instead, the White House wanted a much lighter force (which ended up being approximately 100,000 at the start of the invasion). The White House thought the war would last only a couple of months and U.S. troops would be gone. So again, this call for an increase in soldiers for Iraq is too little too late.

Many observers, myself included, thought that the idea of going in at all, and especially going in with such a small force, was a looney idea and that it would never work. I predicted that there would be a heavy insurgency.... Saddam had prepared Iraqi paramilitary for this for years, because he always thought that the U.S. would invade. Add Al Qaeda and other militant groups in the mix, plus a disinfranchised and marginalized Sunni minority, and you have all the ingredients for a Quagmire. The U.S. can't leave, and it can't stay. This is one of the biggest political and military blunders in U.S. history.

An Excellent Commentary on this issue.

Report from NPR


Vigilante said...

Too much national blood, treasure, and honor has been squandered to save Bush's face and legacy. It's time to pull out of Iraq, already.

Brian said...

Not according to Bush & Co.

They intend to be there at least until the end of 2008. It looks like they want to pass the problem on to the next President.

And it does seem to be about saving a legacy... what legacy I don't know....because he has no legacy to speak of....except for a legacy of failure.