Wednesday, October 18, 2006
# Posted 11:24 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement in support of General Peter J. Schoomaker’s announcement on the Army’s long-term plans for Iraq:There's no question we need a major expansion of the Army and Marine Corps' end strength. I'm just still getting my head around the notion of keeping 140,000 troops in Iraq until 2010. A seven-year occupation. Four more years of bitter debate about the war. And can McCain win in 2008 with that approach to the war? Well, it certainly is straight talk. (8) opinions -- Add your opinion
"There's no question we need a major expansion of the Army and Marine Corps' end strength."
Doubt it will happen, as I suspect the DoD has no faith that in a few years the next president won't pull the rug out from under them, again! (See the Reagan buildups, Bush I troop cuts.)
Such an expansion would likely not come with the money for training, equipping, housing, and providing benefits for the new troops over the long-term (love that one year budget cycle-yeah!). So money would have to come out of current funds--but congress will be sure the DoD doesn't cut the weapon developed in their districts!!
In short, not worth the pain, hassle, and very potential budgetary and morale train-wreck down the road. Yup, it sucks, but you go to war with the political system you have.
Polls I've been seeing from Iraq show that Iraqis consider everything worth it. They are grateful to the US for what we've done for them. However, they are concerned that the US is not planning on leaving and their gratitude may well run out if they see us as settling in for the long term.
I think it's important to make the development of Iraqi police and army our top priority. Get them in a position to fight the insurgency themselves and gradually reduce our own presence. It's ok to take years to finish leaving, but we need to start leaving fairly soon.
We tore up the potato fields of West Germany for dozens of years. What's wrong with marking up the desert for a generation or so?
Divisions contain four Brigade Combat Teams and the BCTs come in 3 major flavors: Infantry, Heavy, and Stryker. You also need to remember the supporting brigades. Some are organic to the divisions like Sustainment Brigades.
Others are seperate and more specialized like the seperate Military Intelligence brigades, Military Police brigades, and so on...
I think we need more doorkickers (combat brigades) and more speciality seperate brigades like Engineers and Military Police.
I don't think we need any more division and corps level staffs.
We also need to have a better focus on the creation, training, equipping, and support of the teams training the Iraqi and Afghani militaries and police forces.
While I think we need a bigger Army and Marine Corps, I don't think that the increase in manpower should come at the cost of transformation and modernization.
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