Tags: Troop | Strength | for | Global | Terror | War | Questioned

Troop Strength for Global Terror War Questioned

Sunday, 26 September 2004 12:00 AM

“If everything we recommend is implemented over the next five years but we continue our current foreign policy of military expeditions every two years, we will begin two more stabilization operations without sufficient preparation or resources,” Reed added

According to Reed, the study led by two defense industry executives -- Craig Fields, former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Philip A. Odeen, another former Defense Department official -- raises troubling questions in the event that the American presence in Iraq drags on and new emergencies arise.

“Iran and North Korea are provocative,” Reed said during Capitol Hill hearings Thursday. “They very well might cause us to take military action; one hopes not. And then, as you often say, there are also the surprises that we don’t even contemplate at this moment.”

The study, which has not been officially released, was partially read into the public record as Reed and others grilled Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who described the report as an “excellent piece of work.” Rumsfeld added that he had ordered briefings on its findings for senior military and civilian officials.

Rumsfeld, however, cautioned that the authors of the study may not be fully aware of the variety of steps under way by the Pentagon broadly to lessen stress on the force -- citing the shift of important combat skills from the reserves to active-duty troops, and the assignment of administrative tasks to civilians so those in uniform could return to combat duties.

But the authors of the report reportedly did not hedge on the exigencies of the times, concluding that unless the U.S. scaled back its stabilization operations, it would have to reshape its forces to “trade combat capabilities for stabilization capabilities” or depend on contributions of troops from allied countries or the United Nations.

Rumsfeld did concede that if the reorganizations fail to field the military forces required by commanders, “then by golly, you’re right, we’ll have to go to an increase in end strength.”

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"If everything we recommend is implemented over the next five years but we continue our current foreign policy of military expeditions every two years, we will begin two more stabilization operations without sufficient preparation or resources,"Reed added According to...
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2004-00-26
Sunday, 26 September 2004 12:00 AM
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