Attention Democrats: Be A Man! Enlist!
'Great editorial from the New York Times, "A Military for a Dangerous World," published November 16, 2008:
As president, Barack Obama will face the most daunting and complicated national security challenges in more than a generation — and he will inherit a military that is critically ill-equipped for the task.OYE Comment:
Troops and equipment are so overtaxed by President Bush’s disastrous Iraq war that the Pentagon does not have enough of either for the fight in Afghanistan, the war on terror’s front line, let alone to confront the next threats.
[ . . . ] To build an effective military the next president must make some fundamental changes.
More ground forces: We believe the military needs the 65,000 additional Army troops and the 27,000 additional marines that Congress finally pushed President Bush into seeking. That buildup is projected to take at least two years; by the end the United States will have 759,000 active-duty ground troops.
That sounds like a lot, especially with the prospect of significant withdrawals from Iraq. But it would still be about 200,000 fewer ground forces than the United States had 20 years ago, during the final stages of the cold war. Less than a third of that expanded ground force would be available for deployment at any given moment.
Military experts agree that for every year active-duty troops spend in the field, they need two years at home recovering, retraining and reconnecting with their families, especially in an all-volunteer force. (The older, part-time soldiers of the National Guard and the Reserves need even more).
The Army has been so badly stretched, mainly by the Iraq war, that it has been unable to honor this one-year-out-of-three rule. Brigades have been rotated back in for second and even third combat tours with barely one year’s rest in between. Even then, the Pentagon has still had to rely far too heavily on National Guard and Reserve units to supplement the force. The long-term cost in morale, recruit quality and readiness will persist for years. Nearly one-fifth of the troops — some 300,000 men and women — have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan reporting post-traumatic stress disorders.
The most responsible prescription for overcoming these problems is a significantly larger ground force. If the country is lucky enough to need fewer troops in the field over the next few years, improving rotation ratios will still help create a higher quality military force. [ . . . ]
OK, Democratic Party supporters, thanks in part to the Yellow Elephants, the American people chose your nominee, Senator Barack Obama [IL] as our 44th President.
Now it's time for you to show your support for his leadership and, indeed, our nation. If you really care about America, you'll seriously think about serving our country, to include military service. And, if you qualify*, you'll contact a military recruiter, Officer Selection Officer, ROTC instructor, to start the process.
And Republicans? Well, if you really care about your party's credibility, as well as your own, you'll do the same thing. There's enough time for a hitch in uniform before resuming your political career.
After all, it worked for Nick Miccarelli in Pennsylvania, whom Operation Yellow Elephant congratulates on his election as State Representative. We wish him all the best as he continues his career in public service.
*Healthy heterosexuals 41 or under.