Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » August 2005 » More on Fighting for "The Noble Cause"...

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08/25/2005: More on Fighting for "The Noble Cause"...

Manpower Meltdown: You can't win a war that nobody wants to fight. by Matthew Yglesias (American Prospect):

"...In a recent report to Congress following a fact-finding mission, retired General Barry McCaffrey concluded that despite missteps already made, "We can achieve our objectives of creating a law-based Iraqi state which will be an influencing example on the entire region." This, he said, could be done "in the coming two to five years." Earlier in the report he listed as one major Central Command vulnerability the "progressive deterioration of Army and Marine manpower," citing "in particular, the expected meltdown of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve in the coming 36 months."

Thirty-six months at twelve months per year is three years, and according to McCaffrey, victory will likely require at least two years (and probably more). His ostensibly optimistic report, in other words, concluded that our mission will probably fall victim to its chief vulnerability before our objectives are achieved. Despite his superficial optimism, then, McCaffrey thinks we will lose.

So the problem, it seems, are the chicken hawks. At times, countries lose wars due to manpower problems because they simply lack the requisite population to maintain an appropriately sized military. But America has plenty of people. It even has plenty of people who support the war. It just doesn't have enough who want to fight in it..."

Despite the bAdmin apologists "Optimism", these are the realities and the projections for "success" in Iraq.

And this Congressional report has been the subject of other commentary. Click on the “more” button to read further:

Reshaped by Reality: What the Iraq War Is Doing to Our Military Forces by Jim Hoagland (Washington Post):
“…The debate over how many U.S. troops should be in Iraq is a legitimate and important one. But it obscures the equally vital point that the United States does not have available enough of the kind of troops it needs to deploy in Iraq in any event.

Some retired and active-duty senior officers fear that another year of combat duty in urban areas of the Sunni Triangle will break the military cohesiveness and morale of the regular Army, Reserve and National Guard units being rotated into Iraq on multiple tours. Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey says the National Guard already is "in the stage of meltdown and within 24 months will be coming apart."

McCaffrey sounded that alarm in testimony and a compelling memorandum he submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 18 after a wide-ranging trip to Iraq in June. He predicted the United States would succeed in Iraq -- but added that it would take five years and dramatic changes in the way the American military and diplomatic establishments conduct business there.

His memorandum reinforces the impression that the U.S. transitional authority essentially wasted its 18 months in effective power and helped create "a weak state of warring factions" that still has to get on its feet. Understaffing and too rapid turnover by the State Department as well as the Pentagon have created a crippling lack of continuity for the decisive months ahead, McCaffrey wrote.

Such concern is driving a dramatic shift in U.S. military planning in Iraq. An emerging aim is to reduce the damage being inflicted on America's armed forces as an institution. It is the structural damage -- the hollowing out of America's military -- that most concerns McCaffrey and other military leaders.

Reducing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq's contested urban areas by the summer of 2006 is now a key component of that planning….”

Karen on 08.25.05 @ 05:37 AM CST

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