Wearing down and out the military

From the Washington Post:

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.

Lt. Col. Mike Johnson, a senior Army planner, said: “Before, if a unit was less than C-1,” or fully ready, “someone would get fired.” Now, he said, that is accepted as combat-zone rotations are sapping all units of gear and manpower. “It’s a cost of continuous operations. You can’t be ready all the time,” he said.

Going to war with the army you have? It’s been three years and where is the major rebuilding? I think we’ve had time to get the Army we want. With Rumsfeld out, the Army is slowing down its video game investment and finally requesting a larger force.

The Iraq Study Group recognized not only the fraying civil-military relations (see Belgravia Dispatch’s highlight on this point in the ISG report) but also the need to re-equip the forces. Where’s the focus on supporting our troops with the training and equipment they need to properly execute the job, regardless of whether the commanders actually implement the appropriate job (to make it crystal clear: for the most part, we’re not doing COIN in Iraq).

Supporting our troops begins with providing them smart leadership.