What The Hell Will He "Surge" WITH?
The United States military is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Poor Army and Marine Corps! They've done everything--lowered admission standards to their services until Magilla Gorilla can join up, faked test scores and aptitude tests, overlooked drug use and criminal records, raised the enlistment age to 42, and yet nothing seems to fill the yawning, gaping vortexes in Iraq and Afghanistan that suck in troops like some gigantic vacuum cleaner and spits out mangled young bodies.
They can cook the books and fiddle the statistics all they want to try and claim they're meeting their recruiting goals--it's just not gonna fly. There must be more troops to shovel into the Iraqi latrine. And Iran? Fuhgeddaboudit. Bush's generals have already apparently told him that any ground campaign against Iran is out. America simply doesn't have the troops.
The Washington Post reports that: "The Army and Marine Corps are planning to ask incoming Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Congress to approve permanent increases in personnel, as senior officials in both services assert that the nation's global military strategy has outstripped their resources. In addition, the Army will press hard for 'full access' to the 346,000-strong Army National Guard and the 196,000-strong Army Reserves by asking Gates to take the politically sensitive step of easing the Pentagon restrictions on the frequency and duration of involuntary call-ups for reservists, according to two senior Army officials."
Okay, basically what this means, translated out of the military bureaucratese, is more or less as follows:
For three years, they have been calling up National Guard and Army Reserves in certain necessary specialties, such as truck driving, military police, medics, etc., in some cases calling up whole Guard units and shipping them off to Iraq and keeping them there for years. The effect on the Reserves and on the readiness of the National Guard to assist in genuine emergencies here in America has been catastrophic; vitally needed men and equipment are sitting in Iraq fighting Bush's deranged war instead of helping rescue people from Hurricane Katrina, etc. This is pretty much documented fact.
But now, it's going to get even worse. In essence, what the Pentagon now wants is a good old-fashioned World War Two type call-up, or what the French call a levee-en-masse. Essentially, they want to call up almost every Reservist and Guardsman, no matter what their specialty, no matter what their age or health or personal situation, slap an M-16 in their hands and dump them in the desert to prop up the neocons' trembling, palsied war effort.
The regular army just can't take the strain any more. The Washington Post goes on to say: "At least two-thirds of Army units in the United States today are rated as not ready to deploy -- lacking in manpower, training and, most critically, equipment -- according to senior U.S. officials and the Iraq Study Group report. The two ground services estimate that they will need $18 billion a year to repair, replace and upgrade destroyed and worn-out equipment....If another crisis were to erupt requiring a large number of U.S. ground troops, the Army's plan would be to freeze its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and divert to the new conflict the U.S.-based combat brigade that is first in line to deploy. Beyond that, however, the Army would have to cobble together war-depleted units to form complete ones to dispatch to the new conflict -- at the risk of lost time, unit cohesion and preparedness."
And what about Jug-Ears' planned assault on Iran? The military has come to scraping the bottom of the barrel for manpower, demanding the right to call up the last remaining Reserves and National Guard in America and turn them all into grunts, regardless of specialty or fitness. And when that doesn't work, and the mincing machine in our Middle Eastern empire screams for even more troops?
Can you feel a draft?