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Not Ready for Duty, Sir!

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, a young, callow man was thrust onto a great stage. On that great stage, he made a great many accusations and a great many promises.

We have seen a steady erosion of American power and an unsteady exercise of American influence. Our military is low on parts, pay and morale. If called on by the commander-in-chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, "Not ready for duty, sir.". . .

The world needs America's strength and leadership. And America's armed forces need better equipment, better training and better pay.

We will give our military the means to keep the peace, and we will give it one thing more: a commander-in-chief who respects our men and women in uniform and a commander-in-chief who earns their respect.

A generation shaped by Vietnam must remember the lessons of Vietnam: When America uses force in the world, the cause must be just, the goal must be clear, and the victory must be overwhelming.


And that young callow man went on to become a young callow monarch, using his kingdom's knights as playthings for not well-thought-out adventurism. And with that, we have Thursday's story:

'Appalling Gap' Found in Homeland Defense Readiness
National Guard, Reserve Forces Lack Sufficient Personnel, Training to Respond to Crisis in U.S., Report Says

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 1, 2008; A04

The U.S. military is not prepared to meet catastrophic threats at home, and it is suffering from an "appalling gap" in forces able to respond to chemical, biological and nuclear strikes on U.S. soil, according to a congressional commission report released yesterday.

The situation is rooted in severe readiness problems in National Guard and reserve forces, which would otherwise be well-suited to respond to domestic crises but lack sufficient personnel and training, as well as $48 billion in equipment because of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves.