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5/04/2005

Doom and gloom

From Yahoo News:

Pentagon says Iraq war erodes military's abilities

The U.S. military's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have constrained its ability to tackle other potential conflicts, making any future war more likely to be longer and bloodier, according to America's top general.

In an annual classified [Ed.-Uh, apparently not all that classified.] report required by Congress, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said stress on manpower and equipment could limit the ability to win other possible wars as quickly as the Pentagon had previously forecast, defense officials said on Tuesday.

Myers stated in the report that U.S. armed forces would "succeed" in any future major conflict but "may be unable to meet expectations for speed or precision."

Any future armed conflicts "may result in significantly extended campaign timelines, and achieving campaign objectives may result in higher casualties and collateral damage," the report stated.

Potential hot spots include Iran, the Korean Peninsula and across the Taiwan Strait.

...

The United States has about 138,000 troops in Iraq and another 17,000 in Afghanistan, and has shifted troops from such places as South Korea, where they guarded against aggression by communist North Korea, to maintain force levels to combat the Iraqi insurgency.

There are 1.4 million active-duty U.S. troops and another 1.2 million in the Reserve and National Guard.

The White House emphasized that the report maintained the U.S. military remained fully capable of meeting any threat posed in the world.

Many troops have long and repeated deployments to combat zones and more than 40 percent of those in Iraq and Afghanistan are members of the part-time Reserves and National Guard. The Army and Marines have run into acute recruiting problems in recent months and military equipment is subject to heavy wear and tear.


No ulterior motives here, by the way; just seemed interesting and important.

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