Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Hollow Army

It's been nearly 14 years since I left the Army but I remember clearly what would happen if a major unit were to have to report as not ready to deploy. Division commanders would be replaced, their careers over. Most likely the Corps commander would be replaced or at least reprimanded, their careers done as well. Reports would be sent up the chain of command to the Joint Chiefs and the repercussions would be felt all over. Lots of people would lose their jobs, training would be ramped up, there would be investigations into the reasons why people and equipment were not ready to deploy.

Such a report was rare. Not because readiness was inflated to match expectations; there were too many ways to see through any kind of artifice, but because commanders at all levels knew how important it was to be able to complete the mission (and to keep their jobs, let's be honest).

Reading this article today left me feeling sad at the state our military has been left by the ill-advised and illegal invasion of Iraq and the continuing occupation. Analysts are using the phrase "hollow Army" again as they did in the decade following the Vietnam War.

BushCo. has managed not only to increase the threat of terrorism and destroy our standing in the world, but also ruined our ability to defend ourselves and our allies.

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