View Full Version : General Warns His Force "Will Break" Without Thousands More Active Duty Troops
12-15-2006, 12:07 AM
This has been talked about many times here (Bush wearing out our military in Iraq). Looks like it's finally here.
Army chief seeks more forces, reserves
By LolITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer Thu Dec 14, 7:48 PM ET
WASHINGTON - The Army's top general warned on Thursday that his force "will break" without thousands more active duty troops and greater use of the reserves. He issued the warning as President Bush considers new strategies for Iraq.
As part of the effort to relieve the strain on the force, the Army is developing plans to accelerate the creation of two new combat brigades, The Associated Press has learned.
According to defense officials, the plan may require shifting equipment and personnel from other military units so the two new brigades could be formed next year and be ready to be sent the war zone in 2008. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans are not final.
Noting the strain put on the force by operations in Iraq,
Afghanistan and elsewhere, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker said he wants to increase his half-million-member Army beyond the 30,000 troops already authorized in recent years.
Though he didn't give an exact number, he said it would take significant time, saying 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers could be added per year. Schoomaker has said it costs roughly $1.2 billion to increase the Army by 10,000 soldiers.
Officials also need greater authority to tap into the National Guard and Reserve, long ago set up as a strategic reserve but now needed as an integral part of the nation's deployed forces, Schoomaker told a commission studying possible changes in those two forces.
"Over the last five years, the sustained strategic demand ... is placing a strain on the Army's all-volunteer force," Schoomaker told the commission in a Capitol Hill hearing. He added, "At this pace ... we will break the active component" unless reserves can be called up more to help.
12-15-2006, 10:16 AM
I would venture to say that unless Dubya's "new vision" includes the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group we will see no real changes. The only one I'm positive we'll see is an implementation of the "new and improved" draft.
He has managed to send our forces to war without a plan, without the required and properly maintained equipment, and without a force large enough to
PS: Pack your bags Dagmar!
The only one I'm positive we'll see is an implementation of the "new and improved" draft.
Have you read the ISG report?
12-15-2006, 01:13 PM
A couple of the latest polls show some interesting numbers...
Sixty-eight percent of voters polled favor withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq in the next six months, according to the NPR poll. Public Opinion Strategies/Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
Voters continue to be pessimistic about the direction of the country. Sixty-five percent say it's on the wrong track, up from 55 percent in December 2005. Those who see the country heading in the right direction dropped to 25 percent, from 35 percent a year earlier. Public Opinion Strategies/Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
About 46 percent of voters favor a Democratic presidential candidate in 2008; 28 percent favor a Republican. Public Opinion Strategies/Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
12-15-2006, 03:58 PM
The only way to solve this problem is to put a puppet media organization in place, hire staff from New Mexico, and report them to the media so that they all lose their jobs due to PR pressure from within their workplace. That might do the trick.
12-16-2006, 08:27 PM
How's this for going back another step?
Iraq PM calls on Saddam officers to return to army
By Mariam Karouny Sat Dec 16, 4:43 PM ET
BAGHDAD (Reuters) -
Iraq's Shi'ite prime minister called on Saturday for the return of all officers of Saddam Hussein's disbanded army in a political overture to disaffected Sunni Arabs aimed at reducing sectarian violence.
Nuri al-Maliki made the call at a national reconciliation conference of Shi'ites, Sunni Arab and Kurdish politicians meant to halt communal bloodshed that has raised the specter of civil war and was a major reason for U.S.
President George W. Bush's decision to review his Iraq strategy.
A senior politician from the powerful Shi'ite Alliance said representatives of some Sunni Arab insurgent groups were in attendance, but delegates said participants' names would remain undisclosed.
"The new Iraqi army is opening the door to former Iraqi army officers. Those who do not come back will be given pensions," Maliki said, in remarks in which he also told leaders to embrace reconciliation as a "safety net from death and destruction."
Shortly after the U.S. invasion to topple Saddam, U.S. administrator Paul Bremer dissolved the Iraqi army, a move experts said drove many Sunni Arab soldiers and officers into the mostly Sunni insurgency fighting the Shi'ite-led government.
The White House praised Maliki's speech but did not specifically cite the call for the return of officers.
"We're encouraged by Prime Minister Maliki's speech this morning in Baghdad," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.
"He reiterated his commitment to bringing militias and insurgents under control and halting the violence. He is clearly in favor of forming an Iraq based on national unity and not individual sects."
Iraqi officials said Maliki's call was also part of a four-step plan to speed up the transfer of security from multi-national forces to Iraqis. The plan includes expanding Iraq's forces and providing them with better training, equipment and weapons.
The Defense Ministry has recruited former Saddam officers, but only junior officers. Maliki's plea, addressing a long-time demand by Sunnis, was the first extended to all ranks.
The U.S. military has been training the new, 300,000-strong Iraqi army as part of a plan eventually to withdraw its 135,000 troops. Bush and Maliki last month agreed to speed up training.
The conference, which officials said was attended by figures from Saddam's former Baath party who have been living abroad since his ouster, takes place against a backdrop of violence that U.N. officials estimate kills more than 100 people a day.
Maliki's Shi'ite-led coalition government, which took office seven months ago, has said it would not talk to armed groups with "Iraqi blood on their hands," a comment aimed mainly at Sunni Islamist al Qaeda. But it has extended an olive branch to armed groups that stop fighting and join the political process.
"I know that there are armed groups here today but I don't know who they are," Rida Jawad Takki from the Shi'ite Alliance told Reuters.
Iraq has held conferences before that were designed to bring about reconciliation but they failed to stop sectarian killing or bring into the fold some disaffected Sunni groups.
"If things remain the way they are this reconciliation conference will resemble its predecessors," said Saleem al-Jibouri, from the Accordance Front, the largest Sunni bloc.
Many participants, some talking off the record, cast doubt that the conference would bring immediate solutions.
"This conference does not have a magic wand to change things overnight," Takki said.
In a separate development, Iraqi leaders said they started official talks on Saturday to try to form a political coalition to support the government and bridge the country's ethnic and sectarian divide.
The government is now made up of competing ethnic and sectarian blocs whose infighting has paralyzed decision-making and has so far failed in pushing through legislation on issues such as disbanding militias.
Hours before the conference opened in the Green Zone, Iraqi special forces backed by U.S. troops killed one militant and arrested six people during raids against a death squad leader in the Baghdad Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City.