The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Combat unreadiness revisited

I suppose the last time we saw any major coverage of ill-preparedness relating to the Iraq war was last fall, when it was revealed that the Katrina recovery effort was hampered by the fact that so many National Guardsmen-- and so much of their equipment-- had been deployed overseas. Before that we were treated to a pretty constant stream of stories about troops in Iraq with outmoded equipment jury-rigging vehicles and so forth.

The depletion of major equipment such as tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and especially helicopters and armored Humvees has left many military units in the United States without adequate training gear, officials say. Partly as a result of the shortages, many U.S. units are rated "unready" to deploy, officials say, raising alarm in Congress and concern among military leaders at a time when Iraq strategy is under review by the White House and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.

Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff, is lobbying hard for more money to repair what he calls the "holes" in his force, saying current war funding is inadequate to make the Army "well."

Kinda makes you wonder where that $300 billion in Iraq funding has been spent. For those with a longer memory, you might recall the endless (and bogus) criticisms of the state in which Clinton had left the military. Six years of unrestricted spending and two invasions later, we actually have a problem with military readiness. The GOP sure has a magic touch.