Pentagon Still Resists Increases in Army Active Duty Roster
Date Published: 23 July 2004
ArmyTimes reports Increase in troop strength could hamper modernization efforts.
Quote: Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker renewed the Pentagon argument that the military can get through the current high level of deployments with temporary increases such as mobilizing more National Guard and Reserve forces and encouraging more soldiers to re-enlist at the end of their duty.
Hmm, we've already mobilized just about all of the reserve and national guard units in the country at least once in the last 2 years, and now we're dipping into the IRRs. The latter action combined with stoploss contract violations has scared the bejeezus out of every soldier who was thinking of re-enlisting, since it basically means they have no idea when they'll ever be done with their “volunteer” service, so recruiting and retention numbers are both below their goals for the first time in a long time (so I've heard - sorry I don't have hard numbers to back up this last statement). Heck, the military is even pressuring congress to let them keep reservists activated for more than 24 months in a 5 year period, the maximum currently allowed by law. This isn't a war - the war ended last year. This is just another peacekeeping mission at this point; hardly the kind of thing that should require “emergency powers” or call for extreme measures like calling on all of our reserves. Having tapped out all of our reserve manpower, just whom are we going to use when something really does threaten our country?
Oh, and have you heard now that Iran may have WMD? How long do you think it'll be before we're in there, too? I think it might be nice to have a few more troops for that, or else the only way they'll have enough bodies on the ground is through a draft. Which is hardly going to be a surprise since there are already bills on the floor of congress which, if passed, would reinstute the draft.
If the pentagon wants to put all of its budget into 'modernizing' the military, it should do that when real-world requirements allow for it. I don't think that it would have flown if the army had decided in 1942 that it couldn't afford to pay any more troops because it wanted to put all of its budget into modernization. In 1946, the military had a lot more flexibility. Today, we have more troops overseas than we have had in decades. I don't think now is the time for us to be restricting our manpower so that we can focus on reorganization. But what do I know.
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.