Monday, January 14, 2008

A Chilling Report

From the Marine Corps Times:

If the U.S. were to face a new conventional threat, its military could not respond effectively without turning to air power, officials and analysts say.

That is the ultimate upshot of the war in Iraq: a response elsewhere would consist largely of U.S. fighters and bombers — even, perhaps, some degree of nuclear strike — because so many ground troops are tied up in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Iraq is sort of sucking all the oxygen out of the room,” said Tammy Schultz, who studies ground forces for the Center for a New American Security, a relatively new Washington think tank dedicated to “strong, pragmatic and principled” security and defense policies.

“My huge fear is that ... we’re really putting the nation at risk,” Schultz said. “It could reach absolutely tragic levels if the United States has to respond to a major contingency any time in the near future.”

The Army is bearing the brunt of the fight, and senior leaders readily acknowledge that. “We are consumed with meeting the demands of the current fight and unable to provide ready forces as rapidly as necessary for other contingencies,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Nov. 15.

H.T.: Think Progress

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