August 28, 2005
Do You Feel Safer?
Well? Do you punks?
Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey says the National Guard already is "in the stage of meltdown and within 24 months will be coming apart."So the Bush Administration has caused structural damage to our armed forces and our National Guard is melting down -- you know, the armed forces that are supposed to fight real enemies abroad and the National Guard that is supposed to be mobilized "upon declaration of a state of emergency by the governor of the state in which they serve" -- you know, emergencies such as hurricanes or terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Man, the 62,040,610 of you selfish idiots who voted for Bush could not have picked a bigger fuckup. Thanks oodles.
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.