November 16th, 2007


A question for Democrats calling for a larger Army...

Although I am sympathetic to soldiers who don't want to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan for a second, third, or fourth time and who understandably want more fellow Americans to take on their share of the burden, I have to ask...

Why do we need to increase the size of the world's most powerful Army by over 12%, if we're going to be leaving Iraq?  Is our nation really at greater risk now as opposed to on 9/10/2001... and if we are at greater risk, how much of that has to do with political and diplomatic bungling that has lead to widespead anger against U.S. foriegn policy?

Before we help increase the size of a government bureaucracy at taxpayer expense, shouldn't we at least consider commonsense ways of reducing the risk of conflicts first, rather than ratcheting up the rhetoric?

Do we really believe that our country is somehow unprotected and that our multibillion dollar nuclear deterrent is worthless... or should we consider adopting a military strategy that at least pretends that we have a serious defensive deterrent, rather than a bunch of really expensive, toxic paperweights in the middle of the Midwest somewhere? 

Do we really need more soldiers in the Army than we had back in the early 90's, before the military started actively outsourcing tens of thousands of jobs... or do all those contractors and mercenaries effectively mean that we already have the equivalent of 100,000 extra soldiers worldwide? Are contractors really doing something that trained, fulltime Army soldiers couldn't do by themselves for less money? 

Does the Army need the troops for understandable shortterm reasons, or, if we approve more soldiers, is it likely that the total number of new soldiers needed will go back down to a normal level in the future... or will we face a self-perpetuating bureaucracy?

Do we need more soldiers in today's Army, or is our Army just considering a longterm change in the force disposition in order to make illegal, aggressive foriegn occupations more "winnable" in the future?

Last time I heard, we actually *did* have enough military strength to win two simultaneous conflicts, in accordance to our former military doctrine. That said, we *don't* have enough soldiers to police two simultaneous occupations, without eventually breaking the military.... but why should we? Shouldn't the US Army's primary goal be to win wars, rather than acting like a bunch of blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers?