Monday, July 09, 2007

Preconceived Ideas Became the Bedrock of Iraq Planning...Anyone peering behind the curtain must come away shocked that the world’s greatest superpower has been reduced to a struggling army that is overburdened, under-equipped and judged to have two out of three of its active brigades unfit for combat. To add to this negative view, only one third of America’s Guard units are fit to serve.

Critics even suggest that if another conflict were to break out anywhere in the world, we would be hard-pressed to meet its demands…

A CNN team reported these conditions in a report yesterday and it should force additional hearings from Congress because obviously they are not being fed the truth..

Why are we so ill prepared to meet our world-wide commitments.

What is particularly depressing is that the foundation for today’s problems go back to the pre-war buildup. Planners missed the boat on more than one front by not anticipating America’s needs not only for armored vehicles but in terms of food, water and supplies and personnel.

Iraq played by Pentagon rules which played down the staffing needed as well as the preparedness of the vehicles and their ability to transport troops and materials in a combat area with long supply lines.
As it turned out, the original troops sent to Iraq were expected to get by on one MRE a day and a bottle of water that they had to stretch out for a week.
Moreover, only 254 armored Humvees were shipped to Iraq in those early days and when the Pentagon was asked for more, the unit commanders were told that they weren’t needed.

We now have been in Iraq for longer than it took to win WWII.

Despite what the Pentagon claimed originally, today we have 8,000 armored Humvees and military units are seeking 2,000 more. We learned that prior to the build up of the war, there was little emphasis on getting our soldiers what they needed. Even when the going got tough, the company hired by the military produced only 450 armored cars a month which was at least ten percent below what it promised to deliver.

We have already invested 500 billion dollars in Iraq and we have seemingly little to show for it. Despite and are spending 2 billion dollars more per week to maintain the war. Of that amount, we are spending more than 2 billion dollars a year for repairs to combat vehicles alone...

Another sordid fact is that the vehicles chosen to replace the Humvees have not been delivered in any quantities as yet. This despite the fact that more than sixty percent of deaths to military personnel were caused by IUDs as were sixty percent of serious wounds. This statistic alone demands a top level investigation. .

But the bad news doesn’t end there. Without proper armor protection and appropriate bullet proof vests, 12.5% of soldiers are returning home after their first tours complaining of stress and depression; after their second tours, 18% are complaining of these problems. Interviews with military surgeons and psychologists report that soldiers not necessarily physically wounded in IUD attacks, suffer from the effects of having their brains shaken by the IUD blasts and other forms of stress and unless visibly wounded, are often sent out immediately on other patrols….

The harsh realities of combat in Iraq today are these.

More than 200,000 men have completed at least two tours of duty..

It turns out that some National Guard and Reserve units may pull as many as four tours of duty during one enlistment.

And, recently, Tours are being extended to fifteen months…

As of now, more and more Guard vehicles are being left in Iraq so that the concern is that the Guard units are not only undermanned, they are poorly equipped to handle any problems on the home front.

While the generals and the White House try to put a nice spin on the military’s preparedness, the truth is quite different and this analysis begins to draw attention to some of short-falls we face and congress’ failure to ask the hard questions..

If nothing else, the man who wants to be remembered as the one who flaunted US military power around the world, is the same one who has weakened its capabilities to such an extent, it is questionable whether we could handle an outbreak on another front.

Les Aaron

Politics Blog Top Sites


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home