Get Your Blog Up

“This administration is populated by people who’ve spent their careers bashing government. They’re not just small-government conservatives—they’re Grover Norquist, strangle-it-in-the-bathtub conservatives. It’s a cognitive disconnect for them to be able to do something well in an arena that they have so derided and reviled all these years.”

Senator Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More troops redux

I finally found what I was looking for:
In "Reinforce Baghdad" [op-ed, Sept. 12], William Kristol and Rich Lowry argue that the United States needs to deploy "substantially" more troops to Iraq to stabilize the country. Aside from the strategic dubiousness of their proposal -- Kristol and Lowry's piece might alternatively have been titled "Reinforcing Failure" -- there is a practical obstacle to it that they overlook: Sending more troops to Iraq would, at the moment, threaten to break our nation's all-volunteer Army and undermine our national security. This is not a risk our country can afford to take.

In their search for additional troops and equipment for Iraq, the first place that Kristol and Lowry would have to look is the active Army. But even at existing deployment levels, the signs of strain on the active Army are evident. In July an official report revealed that two-thirds of the active U.S. Army was classified as "not ready for combat." When one combines this news with the fact that roughly one-third of the active Army is deployed (and thus presumably ready for combat), the math is simple but the answer alarming: The active Army has close to zero combat-ready brigades in reserve.

To which Robert Kagan & William Kristol reply today:
Those who claim that it is impossible to send 50,000 more troops to Iraq, because the troops don't exist, are wrong. The troops do exist.

Oh. That clears it up. Thanks guys.

I'm curious (as everyone else is, no doubt) to see how the Baker/Hamilton commission will answer these claims that more troops that don't exist outside of Robert Kagan's and William Kristol's minds would impact the current conflict in Iraq. And if there is a hint of a suggestion that it might work, Democrats should investigate it further, to the point that it's realized that the troops aren't there and that 50,000 wishes aren't going to make them appear or make America stronger.

It's the only way to put an end to this discussion.