Our overstreched army.
This is from the yet another mess this idiot has gotten us into dept. I'm sure Condi will get it all worked out, though.
The Asia Times
According to information provided by the Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, soldiers can occasionally deploy for 120 days overseas without missing out on important yearly routines at their home bases, such as training and leave.
But deployments of much more than that result in deficits adversely impacting other aspects of a soldier's career and personal life.
PDA estimates that the 120-plus-day overseas deployment rate (averaged for 2003 and 2004) has been 46% during the Iraq war years, with most of it being 365-day deployments.
This rate is likely to decline only marginally in 2004. And, many of the soldiers deployed in 2005 will be on their second 365-day deployment in three years. PDA anticipates that accumulated stresses by late 2005 will exceed any since the Vietnam War period.
It is not hard to find examples of the army being stretched thin. The 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division was sent to Iraq in January this year, even though it had returned from Afghanistan only five months before.
Meanwhile, the 3rd Infantry Division, which liberated Baghdad in early April 2003, has had its tour in Iraq extended at least five times.
In mid-July 2003, Lieutenant-General John Abizaid, the head of US Central Command, announced that all army units would have to spend a full year in Iraq, double the normal tour for peacekeeping duties.
Meanwhile, several National Guard and Reserve units have been mobilized without reasonable notice, kept on active duty for longer than anticipated and sent overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan without effective training.
Members of the Michigan National Guard, for example, were sent to Iraq with only 48 hours notice. The Maryland National Guard's 115th Military Police Battalion, meanwhile, has been mobilized three times in the past two years, and by the end of its last tour will have remained on active duty for 18 months.
This is all despite the fact that a reserve soldier should be given at least 30 days of notice before being mobilized and should not be kept on duty for more than nine to 12 months in a five-to-six-year time frame.
As a result, the typical active-duty US soldier in a deployable unit could literally spend the majority of the next three to four years abroad.
In 2004 alone, 26 of the army's 33 main combat brigades in the active force will deploy abroad at some point; over the course of 2003 and 2004 together, virtually all of the 33 brigades will be deployed.
The typical reservist might be deployed for another 12 months over the next three to four years. As one example, all 15 of the Army National Guard's enhanced separate brigades are to be deployed at some point by 2006
It's worth noting that it is not just outside critics who are concerned about an overburdened military. In September the Defense Science Board, a panel of outside advisers to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, released a report stating that the US military lacks sufficient personnel to meet the nation's current war and peacekeeping demands throughout the world in coming years, despite steps being taken by the army to stretch its ranks and increase the number of soldiers available for combat.
Posted by bushmeister0
at 12:15 PM EST