Too Few Troops

What is mean when people point out that we have “too few troops” in Iraq? We had more men on the ground in the liberation of Kuwait, but the Armed services were yet to face a more implacable foe in a Democratic President, i.e., Clinton, who cut the Armed service forces in a bevy of cost cutting measures that Rumsfeld and Bush chosen not to have reversed. Few of the “too few troops” also call for increased defense spending across the board. Do they imagine instead hundreds of thousands of undeployed servicmen ready and eager to serve but being held out of the fray because an incompetent Admistration just overlooked them? Why then do the left (often the same persons) also point at recruitment shortfalls (however spurious those claims might be)? How is it that we have recruitment/staffing problems at the same time as we should have sent more troops over in the first place? This limits one’s conclusions. Either those decry “too few troops” are not argueing honestly, forget Clinton’s almost decade of downsizing, or feel that our military is not (and perhaps should never be) up to any attempting any non-trivial tasks without spending a half decade tooling up for the fray.

I will dismiss the first argument (which alas might be a mistake) out of respect for the loyal opposition. Far be it from me, to imagine that someone might argue completely diametrically opposing points of view (at different times) just to score political gains.

The second option is an honest mistake, unfortunate but correctable.

The final option means either the person is a pacifist (a somewhat untenable position see for example High Noon) or unwilling to acknowledge the current position history has placed the US. In WWII we entered the war in 1942. We entered the fight in 1944. War, life, and other tasks have not gotten simpler in the intervening decades. No longer can we expect some scant weeks of training and a musket or M-1 to equip a man to fight effectively. Those who think so, in the recognizable future are doomed to lose wars and battles against those who are willing to use the information age technology explosion to their advantage. As a result of Vietnam, the arms race, and the aftermath of the political fallout from WWII, the US finds itself as a “lone” superpower. Some wish that were not the case, and would volunarily remove us from that role by virtue of self-disarmament. If that is indeed the argument being posited by those who claim “too few troops”, then again the argument “too few” seems a dishonest roundabout way to push that point, i.e., claiming “too few troops” were sent when “too few troops” is what you want in the first place and that is because we should never do anything in the first place is dishonest. If you think we should never act, then argue that point not that we didn’t send the number of troops required.

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  1. basil's blog says:

    Breakfast 12-13-2005

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