Tuesday, August 17, 2004

OK, so let me understand, we send 130,000 troops over to Iraq to occupy a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and has yet to produce any WMD, and yet Bush announces yesterday that we will move troops away from a region of the world that is home to an "Axis of Evil" country (North Korea) that we know possesses WMD, big time. Is it any wonder our allies have such a low opinion of our current leadership?

I’ve pointed out here before studies that support the contention that Rumsfeld miscalculated all along when it came to the number of troops needed to be sent to Iraq. Most estimates had the necessary troop number at 400K+. Bush & Rumsfeld attempted to conduct the operation “on the cheap,” ultimately jeopardizing the lives of the undermanned soldiers sent.

The Washington Post gets it right with today's editorial:

Once again Mr. Bush seeks to convince Americans that they can fight a global war on terrorism without the sacrifices that war normally entails. Already he has refused to shoulder fiscal responsibility for the military decisions he has made, sentencing the nation to growing deficits and punishing interest costs. As the war in Iraq turned nastier and lasted longer than he predicted, Mr. Bush refused to support a needed increase in the size of the Army, ensuring that the pain of his miscalculations would increasingly fall on active-duty, National Guard and reserve soldiers sent into combat for more and longer stretches than expected. Now, even as he warns of an unending battle against terrorists, he promises that "our service members will have more time on the home front."

The Post eventually concludes the right answer should be a dedication to recruiting more soldiers. I agree and would ask why the Pentagon does not refocus resources away from Star Wars-like missile defense systems and direct such largess to recruiting efforts. It’s obvious that if the future holds a constant state of alert (will we ever see the terror alert system drop to green or blue for a sustained duration? get real) than logic dictates to combat such threats will require more troop presence around the globe – not less. Note: “more troop presence” does not necessarily mean more wars. In fact, it’s supposed to translate into less chance for war (recall that the mere presence of a policeman is often enough to halt crime from ever occurring).

1 comment:

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