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    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Running Low on Men...

    Stardate 4202.6

    Who's in the Army Now?

    Why they can't send more troops to Iraq...

    The US Army is 1 million men strong (of course there are women too but I am going to get that out of the way right now for ease of writing...) They currently have about 150,000 troops in Iraq. The big questions are twofold:

    • What are the other 850,000 soldiers doing?
    • Should there be a draft?

    Well, as it turns out, the military has many departments, much more than just combat troops. In fact, only about 40% of the US army (391,460) are combat soldiers. Of those, only 149,406 are ACTIVE combat soldiers. The rest are in the National Guard and reserves. Further breakdown of the remaining 850,000 shows that there are 50,252 in transportation, 37,763 in medical, 34, 270 in the training and doctrine section etc. etc...

    So the massive million man army is not really so big. Further breakdown splits this group into Brigades of 3 to 4 thousand men each. There are 37 active brigades at present. Of those, 10 are in Iraq. The rest are spread out in other places, on leave at home (work 12 months and home for 12 months) or training.

    Options include sending less trained troops into action, returning troops to duty that ar on leave or perhaps having a draft. Of course, men aren't what they were 60 years ago... or to be precise, the cause of the war isn't what it was 60 years ago. Back in World War II in Europe and Japan, men fought overseas for years straight.Naturally, there were real stakes involved in that Great War. The balanc eof the World itself almost hung by a thread, as opposed to modern wars, fabricated from fear and greed. Men don't want to bleed for a country when the Cause isn't so imperative.

    So they can't shorten the 12 month home base stints. They can't send out guys early from training. They would end up with an ill-prepared and under trained army, trying to do what a fully trained army is having difficulty doing. A draft? Give me a break. When 50% or more of your citizenry is opposed to the current Administration and their Global Endeavours, a Draft is a nail in their proverbial coffin. With recruitment numbers waning at present, that is not the logical route to take for sure!

    At present, the army is makign a small adjustment. They are shrinkign the size of each brigade, but using more actual combat troops in each.

    John Pike, director of, describes the result of the restructuring this way: "We'll be able to fight the war we're fighting, indefinitely."

    In short, it's a smart gap-filler, but little more. It won't allow George W. Bush to send more troops to Iraq or Afghanistan, much less to other countries that he might like to liberate.

    The Draft will not work because of the citizenry. The politicians don't want a draft because they would surely get ousted next election... and by keeping the army "private", they keep American Foreign Policy government only business... So with the cards on the table at present, can the US be the World's Policeman and Liberator? Do they have the resources?

    Or is it some snazzy pipe dream a monkey somewhere thought up?

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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