Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Army We Have

Frederick Kagan writes in The Weekly Standard an article entitled The Army We Have
"SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DONALD RUMSFELD declared, 'You go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.' The callousness and irresponsible buck-passing of this statement need no further elucidation. "

He likes the bandwagon criticizing Secretary of Defense Runsfeld so he decided to jump on. I have heard so many comments like this since
Rumsfeld met with troops in Kuwait prior to going to Iraq. He has these meetings, if I understand correctly, with the troops and sans media fairly often. He is speaking with troops who do not always have time for tactful expression and are accustomed to blunt speech. This meeting had reporters present and in fact one instigated the question that elicited the above quoted response. Why is a truthful response callous? Was Kagan there to see the troops respond to Rumsfeld? Did he read any of the milblogs of military who were present. Does he think the troops were as offended as he aparently was by the lack of 'sugar coating' of Rumsfeld's response. Did he have access to the entire meeting on video? Did he hear Rumsfeld tell the troops that he had looked out his window and saw 6-8 armored vehicles and guess what, they aren't there anymore. From the milblogs I have read ( and it seems those who attended were so happy with Rumsfeld that they stood around after the meeting to have their pictures taken with the Secretary of Defense.

I have been unable to backtrack an article I read this morning quoting a military officer with this group. He said they have 800+ uparmored vehicles and armor kits available to complete the rest of the vehicles.

This article goes on to report that we need increased numbers in our military which is most likely true. I am not an expert on military strength and planning and would like some information as to what the planned redeployment of relatively large numbers currently serving in other theatres of operation will have on the need to increase overall size of our military. The writer questions critical needs being met if some of the hot spots in the world flare up. That is reason for planning and I have no argument with the authors views.

Click on title to read article.


  1. Hey Pat,

    You are likely aware that we in the military, the Army in particular, are undergoing a big reorganization. What a Division is and what a Brigade is and so forth are going to completely change.

    Part of the process of doing this is creating new Brigade units that are larger than the Brigades we have now. There will be slightly fewer of them in the end though. As a result, we have a temporary need for more troops to sustain the number of units that we have and will have as we reorganize.

    When we finish what we have, it may be decided to produce more Brigades and the increase in numbers we are looking for now will have to be made permanent.

    It amounts to an increase of about 30,000 Soldiers. Of course you don't just add on that many troops overnight. Rearranging our deployments in Korea, europe and Bosnia will allow us to reassign troops to allow for slack in the process of adding on and reorganizing.

  2. ..its politics..pure and simple..