No More Troops To Send

Iraq has left America’s military utterly unable to deploy fighting forces anywhere in the world. Defensetech comments:

It should be noted that this assessment closely mirrors what the Army has been saying itself, again and again, in private meetings on Capitol Hill.

“There are no more troops to send to Iraq,” Daniel Benjamin writes in Slate. “That is the unmistakable message of an Army briefing making the rounds in Washington. According to in-house assessments… not a single one of the Army’s Brigade Combat Teams — its core fighting units — currently in the United States is ready to deploy. In short, the Army has no strategic reserve to speak of.”

Think that the Iran war talk is anything other than election-year base pandering? Now you know. If America wanted to do more than irritate Iran with scattered bombing we would have to send the Boy Scouts.

***Update***

I feel safer. Don’t you?






59 replies
  1. 1
    Otto Man says:

    Tim, why don’t you support our troops? Why do you hate America?

  2. 2
    Geoduck says:

    Why do you think they’re going to use nukes?

  3. 3
    Andrew says:

    Great, now all of the terrorists who read Balloon Juice know how defenseless we really are.

  4. 4

    Gee, then we’d better start a draft of all young people – male and female and transgendered – so we can beef up the military, eh?

  5. 5
    Tim F. says:

    Gee, then we’d better start a draft of all young people

    Proposed here a week ago. Would you support the idea? I would.

  6. 6
    Tony J says:

    So it might be a good idea, then, if Democrats stated to push back against the “But you don’t have any concrete plans on National Security” meme by making an issue of the damage El Residente has done to the US military?

    “Mr President; Jay Ernaliste, Multi-Global Media Network. The Democrats are saying that your policy towards Iraq has crippled our military and rendered it incapable of responding to any number of genuine threats without recourse to a Draft that your Administration is too unpopular to institute. How do you respond?”

    Like the US media would ever dare to ask such a question. But still, something like that.

  7. 7
    Tsulagi says:

    I think if Repubs retain control of both houses after November, the likelihood of Iraq: The Sequel in Iran increases considerably. While there would be some impotent toughy talk coming from a few McCain types, the rest could be counted on to continue their spectering duties. They’re loyal patriots like that.

    Not that the Dems could stop Shock and Awe part 2, but if they had one of the houses they could hold messy public hearings to see if we’re doing this again based on bullshit. Could tarnish that legacy thingy for Bushy.

  8. 8
    VidaLoca says:

    Tim,

    A couple of minor quibbles with an otherwise excellent post.

    Would you support the idea [of a draft of all young people]? I would.

    If you’ll permit me to speculate as to the reason for your supporting it, it might be because, except for the pretty well chewed-up troops and equipment we’ve got in Iraq, per the article we don’t have an army. And we might, like, need one on short notice one day.

    Generally speaking I can’t argue with that. The problem is, if Bush were to institute a draft tomorrow, and if he were able to withstand the public outcry from having done so, the first thing he’d do (after putting the new conscripts through 12-18 months of training, one would hope) would be to ship them off to Iraq. Now that would have the small but significant benefit of allowing the current troops stationed there to rotate out — but beyond that, would we even then have an army?

    In other words the solution to the lack-of-an-army problem is to get what’s left of the army out of there, not create a larger force that Bush will be tempted to throw in.

    Think that the Iran war talk is anything other than election-year base pandering?

    Well, agreed that it is being used as election-year pandering but Hersh’s article several weeks ago in the New Yorker made it sounds like they were pandering in earnest.

    If America wanted to do more than irritate Iran with scattered bombing we would have to send the Boy Scouts.

    The only benefit I can see from the ruination of the army is that it limits the options of the Asshat-in-chief. However, institute a draft and the second place the draftees will be sent (after Iraq) is Iran.

    And besides all of that — I’m not a parent. I can’t picture myself looking someone who is a parent in the eyes and telling them that they have to send their son or daughther off to the tender mercies of these megalomaniac incompetent fools. I just can’t do it.

  9. 9
    srv says:

    I guess there’s nothing left for the Republicans to do but blame the military. Or are there lefties left in the Joint Chiefs?

  10. 10
    Sojourner says:

    And besides all of that—I’m not a parent. I can’t picture myself looking someone who is a parent in the eyes and telling them that they have to send their son or daughther off to the tender mercies of these megalomaniac incompetent fools. I just can’t do it.

    How about a draft of just the children of those who voted for this administration in 2004?

  11. 11
    Tim F. says:

    I think that most are missing the point about a draft. First, the moment a draft is initiated people will begin to think seriously again about the way that America uses its forces. Capricious idiots like Jonah Goldberg will simply not be taken seriously anymore, and probably would not find themselves as enthusiastic about extending American firepower willy-nilly as they are today. Unless the Goldbergs discover that being a living anal bunion qualifies one for deferrment, in which case they will go on advocating war to an audience of themselves.

    It would also spell the end of modern Republican rule. Until now the basic GOP sales pitch has basically been indulgence without consequences, e.g. cutting taxes while going to war with other people’s kids, and adding real consequences to the equation will make that sales pitch a whole lot less appealing. The GOP knows that they will suffer for starting a draft and therefore will never, ever do it.

    Finally, I agree that America needs to be ready for unanticipated conflicts. As of today if North Korea decides to expand south we will basically be spectators. The small American contingent that used to act like a tripwire will be really, honestly be everything that we can contribute to the conflict. In my view we will pull out of Iraq no matter what once the midterms have run their course, but even then we will need years of rebuilding before the army is ready to fight again. A draft would help to fill the gap in the meantime.

    But since a draft will never happen this is all intellectual wankery. The Army is borked and will stay borked for many years to come, whether we stay in Iraq or not.

  12. 12
    LLeo says:

    An all volunteer military is the basis of our current military force structure. You can not properly train conscripts to execute modern tactics. What do you threaten them with? “Get your act in gear or else?” Else what? We kick you out of the military? Send you to a prison where you won’t be killed by and IED?

    I heard a Military Historian from the Army War College say that a Draft is fine as long as there is no war to fight. Another person on the panel discussion said a Draft is tantimount to murder. They gave examples from WWII. The 101st Ariborne fought in the forefront of D-Day, Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge. They had (if I remember correctly) a 2% casualty rate. The regular conscript army behind them suffered a 10% casualty rate. The differnce is that the 101st was an elite volunteer force and the conscript army wasn’t and couldn’t be trained to those levels.

    The Military we have today is the most elite and well trained army the United States has ever fielded. The ultra-low casualty rate of the Iraq & Afganistan Wars is a combination of body armor, immediate evac and medical treatment, and the high level of discipline and training of our troops.

    If we were to institute a draft we would be condeming thousands more to die. Further, the conscripts would disrupt the functioning of the professional soldiers. Good order and discipline would fly out the window. Atrosities would be more abundent.

    A Draft is ALL BAD. A kid out of high school with a gun does not make an army.

  13. 13
    srv says:

    But since a draft will never happen this is all intellectual wankery. The Army is borked and will stay borked for many years to come, whether we stay in Iraq or not.

    So we have a president that has run the military into the ground and left us defenseless around the world. Maybe he was really Carter’s paduan.

  14. 14
    VidaLoca says:

    this is all intellectual wankery

    No, I think it’s kind of important to look at where our complacency has gotten us and how narrow our choices now are.
    Even though I’m somewhat disagreeing with you I’m really glad you put the post up. We have to learn from this, we can’t let it happen again. Damn, where have I heard that before.

    Capricious idiots like Jonah Goldberg will simply not be taken seriously anymore, and probably would not find themselves as enthusiastic about extending American firepower willy-nilly as they are today.

    One would like to believe this — but back when I was Jonah Goldberg’s age or a little younger, Jonah went by the name “Bob Hope”. Or “John Wayne”. Mr. Hope and Mr. Wayne had more gravitas than Jonah (and unlike Jonah they weren’t of draft age) but it was all the same rah-rah bullshit about somebody else going off and getting their asses shot off. War is the force that gives these people’s lives meaning and as long as someone else is taking the risks they’re all about taking the benefits.

    There will always be Jonah Goldbergs. There will always be Reader’s Digests. Back in the day, you got yourself an American flag decal and stuck it in the rear passenger-side window of your car. In the modern era you go out and get a magnetic yellow plastic ribbon made in China that says “I support our troops” and stick it on the tailgate of your SUV. Same shit, different car. It never changes.

    It would also spell the end of modern Republican rule…. The GOP knows that they will suffer for starting a draft and therefore will never, ever do it.

    I agree. And I also agree that “the moment a draft is initiated people will begin to think seriously again about the way that America uses its forces” which is something the GOP really, really does not want people to think about. However “starting a draft” is a whole lot more of an eye-opener than continuing one already in place — remember Vietnam ran from the early 1960’s to 1973 with a draft in place, and it took a long time (and, almost, the destruction of the army) before people began to think seriously about the way America uses its forces. Granted, though, we’re at the point we are now because people quit thinking about that topic. I just have a hard time getting myself up for endorsing a draft of other people’s kids, even as a means to an end I tend to approve of.

  15. 15
    srv says:

    The 101st Ariborne fought in the forefront of D-Day, Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge. They had (if I remember correctly) a 2% casualty rate. The regular conscript army behind them suffered a 10% casualty rate. The differnce is that the 101st was an elite volunteer force and the conscript army wasn’t and couldn’t be trained to those levels.

    Uh, you’re saying the members of the 101st in WWII weren’t drafted? Just because they were much more selective and asked for volunteers doesn’t mean they were picking people from the civilian pool. They probably did better because they were smarter and stronger than their peers (they tested for that).

    I have no doubt that an unbiased draft would raise the IQ of the Army. That would be a good or bad thing, based off of the kinds of wars you want to fight. Proper preparation for Iraq II would have been to offer full scholarships for ME affairs and language students, or force everyone at West Point to take Arabic.

    But we have a bunch of morons who probably volunteered figuring out force structures and curricula. And look at what we have to show for it.

  16. 16
    LLeo says:

    srv

    Uh, you’re saying the members of the 101st in WWII weren’t drafted?

    I may have not have written clearly. Volunteers can be trained better and faster then uninterested and unwilling conscripts. WWII is a unique war in many ways. I am sure many/most of the 101st were drafted, but it is the intentional act of volunteering that makes a person amenable to training and committed to the mission.

    I have no doubt that an unbiased draft would raise the IQ of the Army.

    I have never served in our military. However, my father and uncles served during Vietnam (only one of my uncles saw combat in country). My cousin served in Iraq. Several of my friends served during the 80s. And an unusual number of people in my professional environment (Unix and Networking Administration in DC) have served. Their service went from Force Recon to Korean Linguist.

    These people I know are mostly above average in my opinion. My father was a Marine officer and has a Phd (however he can’t program a VCR). My cousin dropped out of Georgetown University to join the Army. I think there are alot of people in the military are the kind of people that got report cards that said “Johnny is very bright but doesn’t apply himself.” Much like in my field alot of computer geeks are former short-attention-span-ADD kids.

    My personal opinion is that before a Draft is considered, the President should just ask. Ask Americans to serve. Quite literally a “Call to Arms”. He should have done that after 9/11. He should have spent a few of those billions of dollars increasing the size of the Marines and Army. He should have done that when the Iraq debactle started to get out of control. And this President or the next retains that opportunity.

  17. 17
    sglover says:

    Slap some kevlar on Krauthammer’s wheelchair, and he can patrol Baghdad as the Pundit Panzer.

  18. 18
    Zifnab says:

    Proposed here a week ago. Would you support the idea? I would.

    Drafts work great when you’re defending something not offending it. In WWII, for instance, we were sending in the troops to defend Europe on the Easter Front and defending America itself on the Western Front. Few felt bad about shooting at a Japanese soldier after Pearl Harbor. It’s alot easier to drop a man into a bunker and say, “If anyone shots at you, shot back” than to drop him into, say, a jungle and tell him to start butchering anyone they suspect of being, say, a Vietcong. People still have nightmares over naplaming of Vietnam.

    We’re not defending our borders in Iraq or repelling an invasion or trying to retake an American city. I don’t see why anyone thinks anyone will embrace the draft.

  19. 19
    craigie says:

    Bush the gambling alcholic says:

    “If I’m out of money, then I have to double down!”

  20. 20
    Krista says:

    Gee, then we’d better start a draft of all young people

    In other words, it’s time for Bush to either shit or get off the pot.

  21. 21
    Tim F. says:

    In other words, it’s time for Bush to either shit or get off the pot.

    Well I said fish or cut bait, but yeah.

  22. 22

    I guess there’s nothing left for the Republicans to do but blame the military. Or are there lefties left in the Joint Chiefs?

    I realize you’re joking.

    But that’s exactly what they did following Vietnam. According to Republicans, “the Vietnamese soldiers were a bunch of undisciplined drug users. That’s why we can’t have a draft, because all you get are the worst of society.”

    Apparently the fact that WWII saw a larger percentage of draftees than Vietnam is lost on them. (as are most facts) Anyway, we lost Vietnam because of the bad soldiers goes the Vietnam theme.

    It reminds me of the British. When I was in London visiting the military museum at the Tower of London, there was a small plaque talking about the American Rebellion. It simply noted that the soldiers over in America were drunk, undisciplined and not the best. That’s why they lost.

  23. 23
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I’m sorry, wars plural. Seems we are facing a real foe again in Afghanistan plus our continuing trials in Iraq. And now, with no reserve forces and equipment in disrepair we are sure in a jam. What a bunch of dumbasses.

    How anyone can live with having voted for these fools is beyond me.

  24. 24
    srv says:

    I think there are alot of people in the military are the kind of people that got report cards that said “Johnny is very bright but doesn’t apply himself.” Much like in my field alot of computer geeks are former short-attention-span-ADD kids.

    Well, sounds like the blogosphere, unless you’re posting at RedState. Last I heard, Vitamin R was a bar to enlistment. Maybe that has changed.

    Of my 14 uncles and father, all wore a uniform or were in the merchant marine. But my dad may be the only one who enlisted. I’ll have to ask that question at the next reunion.

    I realize you’re joking.

    I don’t know. Here we clearly have a president, who if he isn’t lying through his teeth, has given the generals everything they have asked for. And after 42 months, the military hasn’t delivered. In fact, things are arguably worse.

    So either we have an incompetent military, or we have a president who’s lied to us and a general staff that has gone along with all of those lies. At least Westmoreland was a moron, what is their excuse today?

  25. 25
    rachel says:

    I don’t know. Here we clearly have a president, who if he isn’t lying through his teeth, has given the generals everything they have asked for.

    Well, since he hasn’t given the generals what they said they needed, that leaves…

  26. 26
    p.lukasiak says:

    I hate to break-up any Bush-bashing party, but the lack of troops available for deployment isn’t a manpower issue, but an infrastructure and equipment issue. The Army hasn’t gotten smaller, and “draft” wouldn’t make a difference.

    The real problem is that Bushco refuses to acknowledge the actual monetary costs of this war by budgeting for the replacement of equipment that has been used up/destroyed in Iraq. Its not a lack of bodies, its a lack of bazookas.

  27. 27
    Krista says:

    Well I said fish or cut bait, but yeah

    Much more elegantly put.

  28. 28
    Tim F. says:

    p.luk,

    It sounds to me like you’re just bashing the other knee. In my opinion the troops are both overextended and undersupplied so it’s six of one, half dozen of the other as far as I’m concerned. Plenty of pooch screwing to go around.

  29. 29

    I hate to break-up any Bush-bashing party, but the lack of troops available for deployment isn’t a manpower issue, but an infrastructure and equipment issue. The Army hasn’t gotten smaller, and “draft” wouldn’t make a difference.

    The real problem is that Bushco refuses to acknowledge the actual monetary costs of this war by budgeting for the replacement of equipment that has been used up/destroyed in Iraq. Its not a lack of bodies, its a lack of bazookas.

    Another example of why Republicans can’t be taken seriously on national security issues.

  30. 30
    Punchy says:

    Somebody say War with Ira(n,q)?

    From CNN:

    The first message was routine enough: a “Prepare to Deploy Order” sent through Naval communications channels to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two minehunters.

    The orders didn’t actually command the ships out of port; they just said be ready to move by October 1.

    A deployment of minesweepers to the east coast of Iran would seem to suggest that a much discussed, but until now largely theoretical, prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran.

    So, the Republicans “October Surprise” is basically a full-blown regional war. You can believe that Hezbollah will thusly attack Israel if the US bombs, which would prob drag Egypt and Syria and (fill in the Brown People countries) into the mess. I’m guessing the Turks would use the distraction to hit the Kurds, too.

    But hey, he’s The Decider. And he makes decisions. Can’t wait!

  31. 31

    While I’m disturbed by this Iran manuever, and if this is part of some plan for action it definately seems politically motivated.

    I do have one question, though…

    WHO THE FUCK IS LEAKING MILITARY ORDERS!?

  32. 32
    Punchy says:

    WHO THE FUCK IS LEAKING MILITARY ORDERS!?

    Someone with a conscience, a brain, a heart, and fear for the safety of the greater Middle East.

    Most likely a Democrat.

  33. 33
    p.lukasiak says:

    It sounds to me like you’re just bashing the other knee. In my opinion the troops are both overextended and undersupplied so it’s six of one, half dozen of the other as far as I’m concerned. Plenty of pooch screwing to go around.

    yes, but the discussion had turned to the “draft” issue because liberals like myself like the idea of the political fallout if Bush instituted a draft—but manpower is not a “crisis” at this point. So I tried to refocus the discussion on the actual crisis.

    slthough troops are “overextended” in terms of how often and for how long the Pentagon wants people rotated into combat zones, we still have plenty of bodies that are fully trained for deployment at a moments notice. What we don’t have are units that are equipped to be deployed on a moments notice. This is especially true with regard to Reserve/Guard units, who were deployed with their equipment — and lots of it was destroyed/used up in Iraq (and some units were told to leave much of their equipment behind in Iraq for use by the next unit coming in) and it hasn’t been replaced.

  34. 34

    yes, but the discussion had turned to the “draft” issue because liberals like myself like the idea of the political fallout if Bush instituted a draft—-but manpower is not a “crisis” at this point. So I tried to refocus the discussion on the actual crisis.

    It seems to me if we are to have an intelligent, reasonable discourse, people on all sides of the debate have to be honest with one another.

    Reading the actual linked article, there are issues revolving around equipment shortages, but there are also many issues relating to the quantity and quality of the personnel. So it doesn’t seem clear to me how you can reasonable claim that you are bringing discussion back to the crisis by only mentioning one of the crisis points and ignoring the other.

    In the future, it would improve the level of discourse if you wouldn’t try to spin things for political gain. It just causes us all to become dizzy.

  35. 35
    Punchy says:

    who were deployed with their equipment—and lots of it was destroyed/used up in Iraq (and some units were told to leave much of their equipment behind in Iraq for use by the next unit coming in) and it hasn’t been replaced.

    Come on…many a near-bird homicide I caused as a tyke with a slingshot and BBs. I’m sure we could outfit the Reserve with some Rubber Band Shooters, a crossbow or two, some straws and a heathy supply of spit-balls, and some Jarts.

    Throw in dart guns and nunchucks (sp?), and we’ve got ourselves some units!

  36. 36
    Girl Scout Leader says:

    If America wanted to do more than irritate Iran with scattered bombing we would have to send the Boy Scouts.

    Tim…f#ck off, you sexist pig. Go take your Eagle Scouts and go build a campfire somewhere….so we can cook something on it.

  37. 37
    Tsulagi says:

    WHO THE FUCK IS LEAKING MILITARY ORDERS!?

    Unless intentionally leaked, most likely someone within the military. Could be Dem, could be Pub, but probably someone tired of these idiots in the civilian leadership. There’s plenty of them fed up with Rummy and Cheney’s Gestapo.

    If they deploy, I’d guess they’d sail right up to the international/territorial water line with Iran and conduct exercises. Put a little pressure on. See how Iran responds. But so far they’ve been smart enough not to turn on targeting radars and SAM batteries when we’ve flown UAVs over their airspace during the past few years. They probably wouldn’t respond to our Navy presence either. Then of course the brilliant civilian military strategists (Brownies) will say “See, if we attack, they won’t do anything.”

  38. 38
    p.lukasiak says:

    So it doesn’t seem clear to me how you can reasonable claim that you are bringing discussion back to the crisis by only mentioning one of the crisis points and ignoring the other.

    If you read the study, you note that there are hundreds of thousands of Reserve/Guard troops in uniform that cannot be deployed because the current rules set a maximum active duty deployment of two years. Thus the “personnel crisis” can be dealt with at the stroke of a pen….simply change the rules to allow more years of Guard/Reserve deployment in a war zone.

    Equipment problems, however, aren’t resolvable simply by changing orders.

  39. 39
    Punchy says:

    They probably wouldn’t respond to our Navy presence either

    Responding to our Naval presence???

    I’m picturing a bunch of Iranians rowing out to the submarine so they can bang their fists on the sub’s hull. Honestly, isn’t the “Iranian Navy” like 4 canoes, 1 Bassmaster retrofitted with a mounted AK-47, and an old replica of the Santa Maria, complete with sails and crow’s nest?

  40. 40
    Tim F. says:

    I’m picturing a bunch of Iranians rowing out to the submarine so they can bang their fists on the sub’s hull.

    Posters are correct to point out that Iran has a very poor offensive military. They do, however, have a respectable infrastructure for defending themselves. For example Iran has assembled a large stockpile of Sunburns, the most feared antiship missile on Earth. The Sunburn has enough range to reach most of the Persian Gulf from shore and Iranian planes don’t have to fly very far in before they can hit the Saudi coast. Our big ships will be scrap metal if they remain inside the Strait of Hormuz at the outset of hostilities.

    Then there are the 150,000 American hostages troops in Iraq…

  41. 41

    If you read the study, you note that there are hundreds of thousands of Reserve/Guard troops in uniform that cannot be deployed because the current rules set a maximum active duty deployment of two years. Thus the “personnel crisis” can be dealt with at the stroke of a pen….simply change the rules to allow more years of Guard/Reserve deployment in a war zone.

    LOL! Then why won’t Bush do it?

    Equipment problems, however, aren’t resolvable simply by changing orders.

    But they can be solved with a checkbook.

    So again, why won’t Bush do it?

    The answer to both questions is the same. If you were an honest person you’d admit that.

  42. 42

    I’m picturing a bunch of Iranians rowing out to the submarine so they can bang their fists on the sub’s hull. Honestly, isn’t the “Iranian Navy” like 4 canoes, 1 Bassmaster retrofitted with a mounted AK-47, and an old replica of the Santa Maria, complete with sails and crow’s nest?

    Actually I think it’s a Sea Doo from Bombardier. You know, those nasty French! :-)

  43. 43
    Andrew says:

    I’m picturing a bunch of Iranians rowing out to the submarine so they can bang their fists on the sub’s hull. Honestly, isn’t the “Iranian Navy” like 4 canoes, 1 Bassmaster retrofitted with a mounted AK-47, and an old replica of the Santa Maria, complete with sails and crow’s nest?

    The Iranians have some old kilo class subs, and some newer armaments. The real problem is that the Strait of Hormuz is a terrible bottleneck that the Iranians could shutdown with mines, land based surface-to-surface missiles and rockets, and suicide bomb boats.

    And it is the first thing that will happen if we attack. And oil will hit $100 a barrel within a day.

  44. 44
    Tsulagi says:

    The Iranians have no surface ships that pose a threat to us. Still, the group mentioned in the CNN report would be good for the purpose of provoking a response. We’d probably be looking for intercepting any command communications. Also see if they bring out and move their antiship defenses like the missles Tim mentioned. Also the subs. See how and how fast they position them.

    For defense during this maneuvering, the Aegis cruiser would be ideal for defense from air and surface threats. It also has anti-submarine capability. Our sub could also defend against underwater threats from Iran’s subs.

    Now if some looney Iranian commander were to get a little revolutionary zeal and launch a Sunburn or two at our ships while we’re innocently removing evil Iranian mines from international waters… well, we can go straight to Iraq: The Sequel. No stopping at the U.N., fly over Congress, no having to bother with tedious Frenchy negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Time to unite behind the CIC. Approval ratings up. It’d be all good. Of course, none of the retardocons in the admin would be thinking like that. Right?

  45. 45
    Sojourner says:

    If the CNN report is true, then Bush is certifiably insane. The open question is whether the Republican-led Congress has the balls to stop this madness.

    I wouldn’t bet on it. Shame on the Repubs for their cowardice and shame on the Dems for their incompetence.

  46. 46
    fester says:

    Look at deployment times Tsulagi for timing issues. Minesweepers and minehunters are based at Galveston TX, and usually do not self-deploy overseas. Instead they are carried aboard the big dock ships similiar to the one that took USS Cole back to Mississippi from Yemen in 1999. Those ships move SLOW! It will take 30-40 days to go from Galveston to Bahrain (homeport of the US 5th Fleet) so even assuming no shake-down time for the crews and no need for repairs/check-outs of equipment, the minesweepers won’t get to the theatre before midterms.

    Expect an immediate increase in tensions right after the midterms though (see Fallujah 2004 as an example)

  47. 47
    fester says:

    Also — Beat the Press — Fester Edition — I called this scenario in November, 2003 and was off by 6 months or so (as I stated wrecking the reserves by late 2005 to 2006)

    This was an expected and predictable turn of events.

    “Recently, President Bush said that if need be he would order more troops to Iraq. Hesoid at Counterspin is confused, asking “where are the troops coming from?”

    That is a good question but I have to defend Bush by saying that there are troops available for deployment by mid-spring of next year if we relax a couple of assumptions. Here are the assumptions:
    1) The United States wants to maintain something vaguely resembling a strategic reserve (right now it looks like the 2cd and 3rd Marine Divisions are providing that reserve, this is 3 strong brigades and 2 weak brigades).

    2) The United States wants to have a combat effective and experienced army in 2005/2006 time frame.

    3) The United States wants to have a functional reserve system in 2005/2006.

    If you relax any of these assumptions you can free up a couple of brigades. Relaxing the first gives us five brigades of medium infantry. If we do not care what the regular Army looks like in 2005 then extending tours of duties for the soldiers already in Iraq and shortening the reconstitution times for units that have come home will create additional deployable brigade months. Finally there are ten uncommitted Enhanced Seperate Brigades in the National Guard that are not yet on the deployment list to Iraq. If need be, they could be removed from the homeland security and strategic reserve missions that they are currently filling and sent to Iraq in the next 9 months.

    So Bush is telling the truth if you are willing to relax certain unstated assumptions. “

  48. 48
    VidaLoca says:

    fester,

    If you don’t mind a couple of naive questions:

    Minesweepers and minehunters are based at Galveston TX, and usually do not self-deploy overseas.

    Why not? Is that usually as in “not usually” or usually as in “not ever”?

    Expect an immediate increase in tensions right after the midterms though (see Fallujah 2004 as an example)

    Would you care to speculate on the impact that losing control of one or both houses of Congress would have on this (if in fact the GOP does lose one or both houses). I seem to recall Fallujah as Bush’s victory celebration.

  49. 49
    Tsulagi says:

    Look at deployment times Tsulagi for timing issues.

    I didn’t say in time for the midterms because I thought it’d take too much time to get minesweepers in place.

    Of course my scenario was total conjecture. Now at one point I would have said something like that would have been too stupid and too callously self serving to even contemplate as a possibility. But then, this administration has consistently proven me wrong in the past.

    While they may have been a little tardy in their brilliant strategerizing for the midterms, you just know Bushy dreams of once again putting on the flight suit and hearing the cheers. It’s legacy time and Iran is looking plump for freedomizing. So, even if too late for the midterms, if Hell comes early and one or more houses in Congress fall to the Nazi appeasers, if Jesus can just provide one trigger-happy Iranian we can blissfully be on the road to Rapture anyway.

  50. 50
    fester says:

    Vida Loca — those are not naive questions, they are very good questions:

    Why not? Is that usually as in “not usually” or usually as in “not ever”?

    The USN has two classes of mine warfare vessels, Avengers at roughly 1,400 tons, and Ospreys @950 tons. The Avengers are capable of doing trans-Atlantic voyagers, but they are mechnically iffy, while the Ospreys have always been deployed overseas via deck ships — just too small to go as far as they need to go without significant support or stopping in every port for more gas and grease. If it was absolutely critical for these ships to self-deploy, they could, it would just take a lot of effort.

    Would you care to speculate on the impact that losing control of one or both houses of Congress would have on this (if in fact the GOP does lose one or both houses). I seem to recall Fallujah as Bush’s victory celebration.

    My crystal ball is not that good :)

    I think it depends by how much the GOP could lose by? If it is plus or minus 4 seats, then no real change, as Bush has a window of opportunity and could go for a Hail Mary to change the narrative of 2008. If the Dems pick up a majority of 20 or 30 seats (ie a 40 seat swing), then Iran becomes exhibit A of the hearings on President Bush’s competency as he has been under so much stress lately…

  51. 51
    Sojourner says:

    When does ppgaz come back?

  52. 52

    For defense during this maneuvering, the Aegis cruiser would be ideal for defense from air and surface threats. It also has anti-submarine capability. Our sub could also defend against underwater threats from Iran’s subs.

    And as a bonus, the aegis cruiser has already been battle tested against Iranian Jets.

  53. 53
    p.lukasiak says:

    The answer to both questions is the same. If you were an honest person you’d admit that.

    no its not. First off, changing the rules extending the two year tour of active duty deployment in a war zone is not the same a writing a check… there is are a couple of hundred thousand trained troops with combat experience who can’t be deployed because of the “rules”. Writing a check, however, doesn’t immediately change the status of the equipment to “available.”

    Secondly, the reasons why Bush “doesn’t just do it” are different. Bush “doesn’t just write a check” for political reasons — he want people to think that he is “reducing the his deficit” which is why he isn’t asking for sufficient funding for equipment repair and replacement. But the reason he doesn’t increase the deployment limits is because lots the Army brass would scream bloody murder.

  54. 54

    no its not.

    It appears lukasiak has decided to take the dishonest approach.

    To answer the point: The reason why neither option is appealing is simply political. The President does not have the courage to take on either battle, of increasing the costs of the war, or increasing the duration of tours of duty.

    I don’t know why you claim we can’t build more equipment quickly. We’ve done it before. Certainly with Ford announcing plant closings, the capacity is there to accomplish the need. But I suppose, with your Republican way of running government, we’ve got to bribe all the usual suspects to get them to do their jobs. And maybe years later we’ll get a Radio Flyer wagon delivered with claims that it’s a troop transport, for $50 billion over budget.

    It’s very sad that you think so poorly of our nation’s capacity to do anything.

  55. 55

    BTW, if that pissed you off… good. I just wanted to point out I can dishout inane stupid logical fallacy as well.

    Don’t toss your shit on the table and call it chips.

  56. 56
    Tim F. says:

    with your Republican way of running government

    I don’t mean to referree here, but are you suggesting that Lukasiak is a Republican? That would be a first.

  57. 57

    […] Obviously any sane person would find this situation intolerable. If we do nothing then civil war seems like an inevitability at this point, but preparedness limits put a strict cap our ability to do any more than we are doing right now. Shuffling troops around (the ‘inkblot’ strategy’) sounds great except that is what we tried during August, one of the two bloodiest months on record. More success like that is something that we don’t need. It looks at this point like a descent into civil war will happen with or without us. I don’t know about anybody else, but given the choice I would pick without. […]

  58. 58
  59. 59

    […] Second, we don’t have the troops. Whoever the president plans to sent to Iraq won’t be properly trained and equipped regulars from the Army or Marines. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Second, we don’t have the troops. Whoever the president plans to sent to Iraq won’t be properly trained and equipped regulars from the Army or Marines. […]

  2. […] Obviously any sane person would find this situation intolerable. If we do nothing then civil war seems like an inevitability at this point, but preparedness limits put a strict cap our ability to do any more than we are doing right now. Shuffling troops around (the ‘inkblot’ strategy’) sounds great except that is what we tried during August, one of the two bloodiest months on record. More success like that is something that we don’t need. It looks at this point like a descent into civil war will happen with or without us. I don’t know about anybody else, but given the choice I would pick without. […]

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