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Military Readiness Lowest Since Vietnam

Salon (watch short ad for a site pass): Whatever its ultimate fate, the Iraq Study Group report released Wednesday should have destroyed the spurious

Salon (watch short ad for a site pass):

Whatever its ultimate fate, the Iraq Study Group report released Wednesday should have destroyed the spurious notion that flooding Iraq with more U.S. troops might win the war. As the report makes clear, a major influx of U.S. combat brigades into Iraq is somewhere between totally unrealistic and completely impossible.

[..]The military is running out of troops and equipment. The cold, hard facts about military readiness and a 1.4 million-strong active-duty force rule out a big increase in the size of the U.S. footprint in Iraq. "We don't have enough is the short answer," said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University [..]Advocating a big increase in troop levels now is just political theater, Hoffman argued. "This is the beginning of the who-lost-Iraq debate," he explained. "No one wants to be a charter member of the club."

Even though the new report articulates a dark picture of U.S. readiness, some politicians, including leading Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, continue to argue that a significant increase in troops in Iraq is needed to save the country from sinking into the abyss. Read on...

Meanwhile, Bush said in his weekly radio address that he is "is confident Americans can move beyond political differences and agree a new direction for Iraq leading to victory." Um, George? The American people HAVE by and large agreed on a new direction for Iraq. It appears YOU are the one who needs to move beyond political differences.

It's too easy to get mired in the political gamesmanship of this inside the Beltway. But I hope that we never let them forget that these are real people whose lives hang in the balance.

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