Not only is the Army suffering manpower problems, creating issues at CONUS bases, hindering knowledge creation and transfer, wearing down its equipment, and not providing known and necessary pre-deployment training, but now the DoD’s own Inspector General issued a report last week stating failures to provide proper equipment to our soldiers.
From the report (available here):
[Soldiers] experienced shortages of force-protection equipment, such as up-armored vehicles, electronic countermeasure devices, crew-served weapons, and communications equipment. As a result, Service members were not always equipped to effectively complete their missions… We also recommend that the Commander, US Central Command enforce policy requiring units rotating into theater to conduct a review of current theater requirements…within 60 days of arrival…obtain those updated requirements in a timely manner; confirm the validity of current theater requirements…
…Service members performed missions without the proper equipment, used informal procedures to obtain equipment and sustainment support, and canceled or postponed missions while waiting to receive equipment.
I’m not exactly sure how we’re supposed to expect our forces to fight a complex and sophisticated irregular warfare campaign (and here) when they are still beg, borrowing, or stealing to accomplish their mission safely.
One last thought, should we be worried Admiral Fallon, currently heading PACOM but in front of SASC to be approved to head CENTCOM, “hasn’t gotten into the details” of the new Iraq plan? Now we’re talking about a Navy guy who essentially owns a large chunk of the planet who is probably deep in China details (shifting to a gig where he’ll still be working against China), so we should cut him some slack that he doesn’t know how General Petreaus will use the troops. Right?