Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cleaning up George's Mess--Part 9: The Military

Edward Luttwak writes about the military in Harper's Magazine's article, "Undoing Bush." He describes a military that is severely depleted, that Barry McCaffrey, a retired 4-star General, says is starting to unravel, and that Colin Powell calls "about broken." It's all due to mismanagement of a war that was a mistake in the first place. The remedy, to allow the military to recover post-Iraq, will be to shrink the services, especially the Navy and Air Force. It is interesting to see how Luttwak talks about the Army's different circumstances, though, since it is already smaller than it should be. At least, he says, it won't be necessary to expel large numbers from the Army for behavior problems as it was after Vietnam.
"Today's all-volunteer Army, which endures drinkless, sexless, funless tours in the featureless landscapes and remarkably ugly towns of Iraq, has by contrast behaved with saintly restraint and shown a grim devotion to duty."
That speaks well for the men and women in the Army and is the reason we can support the troops but not support the war. But that doesn't mean there aren't problems. It is clear that fighting terrorism with an occupying army is a no-win proposition. Tactics need to be refined and the Army needs to become more nimble in order to deal with in the future the the mess that we're creating today.

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