I had no idea.
If the U.S. were to face a new conventional threat, its military could not respond effectively without turning to air power, officials and analysts say.
That is the ultimate upshot of the war in Iraq: a response elsewhere would consist largely of U.S. fighters and bombers — even, perhaps, some degree of nuclear strike — because so many ground troops are tied up in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
And that leaves at least some senior U.S. leaders and analysts crossing their fingers.
“I believe that we, as a nation, are at risk of mission failure should our Army be called to deploy to an emerging threat,” Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee, said last year, basing his assessment on classified Army readiness reports.
Some days when it’s raining and nothing seems like it’s going well, I close my eyes and imagine a world where people defending the Iraq war take into account that throwing our entire land army into a grinding open-ended occupation actually costs something. And then giant sparkling rainbows emerge singing out of my ass.