Warehouse C
No Brains At The Top
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Military Experts Say US Unprepared To Fight Another Major War


By James Donahue


Over the years military sources made it clear to this writer that the United States has always stood ready to defend itself against foreign aggression by following one simple rule: we always had a large enough army to fight as many as three wars at the same time.


That is no loner true. Since George W. Bush came to power, and even before that, we were in the process of dismantling the size of our armed forces. While military budgets have skyrocketed, the money was spent in the development of new sophisticated weaponry designed for a high-tech push-button war instead of training and maintaining ground forces.


We watched in dismay as military bases all over the nation were closed and civilians who worked on those bases lost their jobs. In 1973, after the Vietnam fiasco, we discontinued the draft and shifted to an all-volunteer military. That served us well until Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and triggered what appears to be an endless conflict in that region of the world


The Iraq war has drained our military in both material and manpower. In a recent survey of some 3,400 military officers, 88 percent said they believes the demands of the Iraq war have “stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin.”


When the Pentagon began calling on the reserves and National Guard to fill gaps on the battlefield, and then extending stays of active combat for regular soldiers, it was clear that (a.) the military was no longer prepared to fight numerous and long wars at the same time, and (b.) our elected leadership was reluctant to reopen the draft in a pre-election year.


Thus we find ourselves locked in another unpopular war that we cannot win or withdraw from gracefully, and we lack the political willingness at this time to take the needed steps to start rebuilding our military.


The officers also noted that because of the U.S. involvement in Iraq, they believe China and Iran are emerging as strategic victors as world powers. The report says Iran gained from the war because it removed Iraq as a “strategic counterweight” in the region.


The survey portrayed Iran, the Taiwan Strait, Syria and North Korea as four major hot spots where the U.S. may be required to fight a major combat operation. In the survey the officers judged America’s preparedness for such battles as generally lower than 50 percent.


It appears that if there was ever a time that the United States was especially vulnerable to foreign attack, it is now, with a large number of our fighting men and women stationed on foreign soil. Even our own military leaders are warning that we lack the manpower and equipment to carry on a third conflict. That is a frightening scenario.


Surprisingly, 56 percent of the officers said the military was not broken by the war and 64 percent said they thought morale was “somewhat high” or “very high.”