Wednesday, January 25, 2006

If It Ain't Broke

There's a new antiwar hype in town: the Krepinevich report. Or rather, the hype about the report, which I doubt most of the reporters have actually read.

According to the Associated Press:
Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.

As evidence, Krepinevich points to the Army's 2005 recruiting slump _ missing its recruiting goal for the first time since 1999 _ and its decision to offer much bigger enlistment bonuses and other incentives.

"You really begin to wonder just how much stress and strain there is on the Army, how much longer it can continue," he said in an interview. He added that the Army is still a highly effective fighting force and is implementing a plan that will expand the number of combat brigades available for rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Don't look to see that last sentence as widely quoted as the word "broken".

Also don't expect anybody using the word "broken" to be challenged as to how a "broken" Army can continue to meet its objectives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I see this as an example of the peacetime Army dying hard. The Army is rejecting peacetime limits on deployment and extension of tours of duty, in order to meet its wartime missions. And so it is therefore seriously at risk of "breaking" even as it meets its wartime missions. Wartime missions, to some in Washington, are somehow not the primary measure of the effectiveness of the Army.

No comments: