The Christian Science Monitor has a good article about what the experience in Iraq says about the size and mix of US ground forces. Donald Rumsfeld may desire to shrink the number of combat units but the US Army has already shrunk a great deal since the end of the Cold War and peacekeeping in Iraq is currently tying down a substantial portion of US ground forces.
This buildup in Iraq is only half the size of Desert Storm, when 23 Army brigades were deployed at once. But this operation eats up a far larger proportion of the smaller post-cold-war Army. In fact, not since the Korean War has the US committed as large a share of its combat troops and National Guard units needed to support them to a single operation.
The US is in no position to do anything in Iran let alone in North Korea. The US Army is not big enough to take on a bigger job. Rumsfeld's desire to cut the active force in order to get money for more acquisitions runs up against the demands that an escalating set of peackeeping deployments place on the active forces.
Rumsfeld's idea of shifting more support jobs to civilians seems like a wise move though.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 May 07 01:02 AM Military War, Rumours Of War|