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Study: Army Stretched to Breaking Point

LeftyHenry

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I read an article today about The army not being able to continue at the pace it was deploying troops. Just thought I'd post it here. Comments?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060124/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/army_breaking_point



"WASHINGTON - Stretched by frequent troop rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has become a "thin green line" that could snap unless relief comes soon, according to a study for the Pentagon.

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Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.

As evidence, Krepinevich points to the Army's 2005 recruiting slump — missing its recruiting goal for the first time since 1999 — and its decision to offer much bigger enlistment bonuses and other incentives.

"You really begin to wonder just how much stress and strain there is on the Army, how much longer it can continue," he said in an interview. He added that the Army is still a highly effective fighting force and is implementing a plan that will expand the number of combat brigades available for rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 136-page report represents a more sobering picture of the Army's condition than military officials offer in public. While not released publicly, a copy of the report was provided in response to an Associated Press inquiry.

Illustrating his level of concern about strain on the Army, Krepinevich titled one of his report's chapters, "The Thin Green Line."

He wrote that the Army is "in a race against time" to adjust to the demands of war "or risk `breaking' the force in the form of a catastrophic decline" in recruitment and re-enlistment.

Col. Lewis Boone, spokesman for Army Forces Command, which is responsible for providing troops to war commanders, said it would be "a very extreme characterization" to call the Army broken. He said his organization has been able to fulfill every request for troops that it has received from field commanders.

The Krepinevich assessment is the latest in the debate over whether the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have worn out the Army, how the strains can be eased and whether the U.S. military is too burdened to defeat other threats.

Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), the Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam veteran, created a political storm last fall when he called for an early exit from Iraq, arguing that the Army was "broken, worn out" and fueling the insurgency by its mere presence. Administration officials have hotly contested that view.

George Joulwan, a retired four-star Army general and former NATO commander, agrees the Army is stretched thin.

"Whether they're broken or not, I think I would say if we don't change the way we're doing business, they're in danger of being fractured and broken, and I would agree with that," Joulwan told CNN last month.

Krepinevich did not conclude that U.S. forces should quit Iraq now, but said it may be possible to reduce troop levels below 100,000 by the end of the year. There now are about 136,000, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

For an Army of about 500,000 soldiers — not counting the thousands of National Guard and Reserve soldiers now on active duty — the commitment of 100,000 or so to Iraq might not seem an excessive burden. But because the war has lasted longer than expected, the Army has had to regularly rotate fresh units in while maintaining its normal training efforts and reorganizing the force from top to bottom.

Krepinevich's analysis, while consistent with the conclusions of some outside the Bush administration, is in stark contrast with the public statements of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and senior Army officials.

Army Secretary Francis Harvey, for example, opened a Pentagon news conference last week by denying the Army was in trouble. "Today's Army is the most capable, best-trained, best-equipped and most experienced force our nation has fielded in well over a decade," he said, adding that recruiting has picked up.

Rumsfeld has argued that the experience of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has made the Army stronger, not weaker.

"The Army is probably as strong and capable as it ever has been in the history of this country," he said in an appearance at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington on Dec. 5. "They are more experienced, more capable, better equipped than ever before."

Krepinevich said in the interview that he understands why Pentagon officials do not state publicly that they are being forced to reduce troop levels in Iraq because of stress on the Army. "That gives too much encouragement to the enemy," he said, even if a number of signs, such as a recruiting slump, point in that direction.

Krepinevich is executive director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonprofit policy research institute.

He said he concluded that even Army leaders are not sure how much longer they can keep up the unusually high pace of combat tours in Iraq before they trigger an institutional crisis. Some major Army divisions are serving their second yearlong tours in Iraq, and some smaller units have served three times.

Michael O'Hanlon, a military expert at the private Brookings Institution, said in a recent interview that "it's a judgment call" whether the risk of breaking the Army is great enough to warrant expanding its size.

"I say yes. But it's a judgment call, because so far the Army isn't broken," O'Hanlon said."
 

Doug Andreson

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This Article brings up a very real point that does need to be assesed by the US military. But I would like to point out some major weakness in the arguments used by the Article to make a basis for their argument.

Firstly, A decision to reduce forces in Iraq has been waiting in the wings of American decisions for about a year now. The idea that they had come to "a realization that the army was over extended" maybe be one factor that they are finnaly commiting, but the president and his staff have been making promises of troop reduction since we found Sadam Hussain. They told the american public this because of two reasons; they didnt want the american public to think that they went in so they could own and be the sole occupiers of Iraq, and they wanted to make the government sound more humane by giving familys hope for their son's or daughter's return from deuty in Iraq

Secondly, by putting up troop numbers, they are trying to make it look like they are giving both sides of the argument, when actually they make themsleves look bad. In a givin scenario we can asses how many men the United states military has to expand right now. Saying that we have 136,000 troops in iraq. Then since it says that these troops need to be recycled we say that it looses 50,000 extra troops that we cant use right now. that totals to 186,000 troops. Now we know that we have less troops in afganistan than iraq in about a ratio of 1:2 so we can say that 93,000 troops become part of the afgan occupation. That totals 279,000, even adding up the total we have in the dmz, and other territories that leaves us with about 200,000 troops that we can use for protecting our home and other endevors that we might need to accomplish in the next year.
 

Radical Ron

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I think that America is just going to have to accept what steps she has taken and do the best in the days to come. Truly the time is coming where the war will have changed from what it was. Iraq is changing and so has the US, and now we are becoming exhausted. The Army will find a way to pay, everyone knows that this war is one of Bush's focal points. I can only hope that it is not with the cost of even more human lives, but death is inevitable.
If we were to leave now what would be the outcome. Violence has increased in that country, instead of being a dictator's soldiers now it is the insurgent who is one of the people we went over to save from the former.
There are so many different groups to worry about. Kurds, Shiites, Sunnis, Christians. Beleive it or not Christians are more of a target now than ever before.
We need to concentrate our efforts on diplomaticly aiding Iraq in building a new government in a hastier fashion. We can't leave until we finish what we started as a nation.


"There is no such thing as an enlightened despot!"
~Me, about twenty seconds ago.
 

KidRocks

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President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Looks like Rep. John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam veteran was right on after all. The Army is all but broken and soon it just may be.

Recruits are dodging the Army in droves and young Americans are sending a clear message to Bush that they don't want to join the fight in Iraq and "Hell no we won't go" seems to be what they are feeling.

President Bush is quickly demoralizing and depleating our armed-forces to the point that it will take many years to recover. Iran must know this and so does North Korea and Hugo Chavez.

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive."

God help America!







http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-01-24-army-study_x.htm

Study: Army stretched to breaking point

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stretched by frequent troop rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has become a "thin green line" that could snap unless relief comes soon, according to a study for the Pentagon.

Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.

As evidence, Krepinevich points to the Army's 2005 recruiting slump — missing its recruiting goal for the first time since 1999 — and its decision to offer much bigger enlistment bonuses and other incentives.

"You really begin to wonder just how much stress and strain there is on the Army, how much longer it can continue," he said in an interview. He added that the Army is still a highly effective fighting force and is implementing a plan that will expand the number of combat brigades available for rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 136-page report represents a more sobering picture of the Army's condition than military officials offer in public. While not released publicly, a copy of the report was provided in response to an Associated Press inquiry.

Illustrating his level of concern about strain on the Army, Krepinevich titled one of his report's chapters, "The Thin Green Line."

He wrote that the Army is "in a race against time" to adjust to the demands of war "or risk 'breaking' the force in the form of a catastrophic decline" in recruitment and re-enlistment...
 
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Stace

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

I read this story earlier today, and it seriously upsets me. The more frequently our troops are deployed, the thinner their patience gets, and the deeper their depression grows. With less patience, the troops are likely to do irrational things they wouldn't normally do, and with depression comes the same problem. They are also at a larger risk for developing PTSD.....I've seen it with my very own eyes. When my husband came back after his first rotation in Iraq, he was exactly the same guy he was before he had left....but after his second rotation, even though it was significantly shorter, I noticed a few changes to his personality that sometimes give me cause for concern.

Our troops are getting burnt out, and when they can't focus on the task at hand because of that, mistakes are made, and that's when people get hurt and even killed.

Something's got to give; there's got to be a point where enough is enough already.
 

oldreliable67

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Another think tank expert was quoted in that same article, he said,

Michael O'Hanlon, a military expert at the private Brookings Institution, said in a recent interview that "it's a judgment call" whether the risk of breaking the Army is great enough to warrant expanding its size.

"I say yes. But it's a judgment call, because so far the Army isn't broken," O'Hanlon said.
Ok, so one expert "its broke" and in the same article, another expert says it "isn't broken".
 

oldreliable67

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Stace said:
Our troops are getting burnt out, and when they can't focus on the task at hand because of that, mistakes are made, and that's when people get hurt and even killed.

Something's got to give; there's got to be a point where enough is enough already.
I hear that. I know lots of folks will say that I'm a little bit (or maybe a lot) nuts, but I swear if they would take my old body with its prosthetic knee and pacemaker, I'd re-up tomorrow.
 

tecoyah

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

oldreliable67 said:
Another think tank expert was quoted in that same article, he said,



Ok, so one expert "its broke" and in the same article, another expert says it "isn't broken".
Actually....he said " so far the Army isn't broken",....which is pretty much what the other guy said.
 

oldreliable67

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

tecoyah said:
Actually....he said " so far the Army isn't broken",....which is pretty much what the other guy said.
Yep, that is more precisely what they both said.
 

scottyz

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

oldreliable67 said:
I hear that. I know lots of folks will say that I'm a little bit (or maybe a lot) nuts, but I swear if they would take my old body with its prosthetic knee and pacemaker, I'd re-up tomorrow.
A PMC would probably take you if you have military experience.
 

Navy Pride

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

No matter how many liberals say our military is broken they are wrong........Our military is the greatest fighting force in the history of the world and is a long way from being broken down..........

May God keep them out of harms way......
 

Navy Pride

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

oldreliable67 said:
I hear that. I know lots of folks will say that I'm a little bit (or maybe a lot) nuts, but I swear if they would take my old body with its prosthetic knee and pacemaker, I'd re-up tomorrow.
If they would take this old fart I would too.....I would consider it and honor to serve my country again.........
 

Stace

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Navy Pride said:
No matter how many liberals say our military is broken they are wrong........Our military is the greatest fighting force in the history of the world and is a long way from being broken down..........

May God keep them out of harms way......
Did you even read the article? This has nothing to do with your partisan games.

Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.
You see that? A retired Army officer, commissioned by the Pentagon to write this report.

Maybe our military isn't broken yet, but they are very close to the edge of the breaking point.
 

cnredd

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Stace said:
Maybe our military isn't broken yet, but they are very close to the edge of the breaking point.
Yeah?...

Well maybe if certain military members didn't leave and end up getting themselves knocked up, we wouldn't be so damn close to breaking!...:doh

(kidding!:2wave:)
 

Stace

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

cnredd said:
Yeah?...

Well maybe if certain military members didn't leave and end up getting themselves knocked up, we wouldn't be so damn close to breaking!...:doh

(kidding!:2wave:)
Yeah, well, I left BECAUSE I wanted to get knocked up! In all seriousness, I didn't want my children raised in that environment - at least, not with both hubby and I serving. I didn't want to be constantly shipped overseas and miss out on important parts of my children's lives....and I knew it would happen, I got lucky during my four years in that I was never deployed, but if I had re-upped, I know that would have changed! If my husband had wanted to reenlist, I would have supported that 110%, but he wanted to be a cop, he feels he's more directly doing good things for our nation this way. And I support him 110% in this, as well.
 

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I wonder what Gy will have to say about this.
 

tecoyah

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Stace said:
Yeah, well, I left BECAUSE I wanted to get knocked up! In all seriousness, I didn't want my children raised in that environment - at least, not with both hubby and I serving. I didn't want to be constantly shipped overseas and miss out on important parts of my children's lives....and I knew it would happen, I got lucky during my four years in that I was never deployed, but if I had re-upped, I know that would have changed! If my husband had wanted to reenlist, I would have supported that 110%, but he wanted to be a cop, he feels he's more directly doing good things for our nation this way. And I support him 110% in this, as well.
This statement is reflective of the underlying problem our military faces right now....and will face in any extended campaign. There are far fewer career military people than there are ephemerals. That said, in order to keep numbers level, we will need quite a large pool of replacements to meet the demands of attrition, both thru death and the descision not to reenlist. In our last major conflict we solved this problem with the draft. In this one we managed to compensate somewhat by using reserves, and Nat'l Guard to fill in the ranks...but this combined with extending contracts is at best, a temporary fix. This is the basic premis of the article and to my mind, an unavoidable conclusion.
So...what does this actually mean? It will likely come to two choices in the near future:

1) draft replacements from the population.

2) exit the conflict
 

oldreliable67

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1) draft replacements from the population.

2) exit the conflict
or

3) increase the attractiveness of serving while maintaining force size. Raise the pay and benefits. It is a volunteer force. Therefore, increase the inducements to volunteer.

4) increase the attractiveness of serving and increase force size. Same as 3) but increase the size of the force to increase time between combat zone rotations.

In other discussions, some of those in military and/or advisory positions are advocating 4). Along with that, the number of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) are being re-aligned using other overseas deployments as sources of manpower so as to significantly increase the number of BCTs.

Back in January 2004, Army Chief of Staff Schoonmaker said,

"We also, as you know, have made the decision to go forward with Stryker. That gives us five Stryker brigades within the active structure. It also gives us two airborne brigades and an armored cavalry regiment. One of the armored cavalry regiments, the 2nd Light Armored Cavalry Regiment, is designated to become one of the Strykers, so it's included in those numbers. So that moves us from 33 current active brigades under 10 division headquarters to a force of 48 active brigades."

Source.

In an address in February 2005, the SA said,

"This transformational effort will result in a force with a number of key advantages. First, there will be at least a 30 percent increase in Active Component combat power by 2007, an increase from 33 to 43 Brigades as previously discussed. Second, the number of useable Brigade Combat Teams in the rotational pool will be increased from 48 to 77. Third, the headquarters will be joint-capable and organized the way it will operate in theater. Fourth, future network-centric developments can be readily applied to the modular force design. Finally, and most importantly, when complete, modularity in combination with rebalancing the type of units in both the Active and Reserve Components will significantly reduce the stress on the force because of a more predictable rotational cycle for all components, coupled with much longer dwell times at the home station."

Source.

Bottom line: this is not a new problem. It has been in the forefront of DoD planning for several years.
 

LeftyHenry

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Navy Pride said:
No matter how many liberals say our military is broken they are wrong........Our military is the greatest fighting force in the history of the world and is a long way from being broken down..........

May God keep them out of harms way......
Yes, yes, god bless America and all but seriously, the point I'm trying to make with this article is that we are doing a really crappy job running this war. I don't support wars in general and this one is no exception. However, since we're in it now we should get it done as soon as possible.

I reccomend a mandatory draft. Instead of pulling out troops, I say we flood country with troops. That way the war will end fast and we can go back to real problems like poverty and SS.

btw Seahawks are going to beat the **** out of the Steelers.
 
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I think this thread has reached it's breaking point.
 

tecoyah

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Navy Pride said:
No matter how many liberals say our military is broken they are wrong........Our military is the greatest fighting force in the history of the world and is a long way from being broken down..........

May God keep them out of harms way......
As much as I respect your opinion on all things Military NP....I must say, when two seperate reports...commisioned by , and prepared by those who have the Data point to problems....I'm gonna have to take it seriously.
 

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

tecoyah said:
As much as I respect your opinion on all things Military NP....I must say, when two seperate reports...commisioned by , and prepared by those who have the Data point to problems....I'm gonna have to take it seriously.

With all respect the people that published these reports might just have a political agenda...........:roll: I will take the word of the commanders in the field.........
 

Stace

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Re: President Bush pushing Army to breaking point.

Navy Pride said:
With all respect the people that published these reports might just have a political agenda...........:roll: I will take the word of the commanders in the field.........
Explain this one to me.....Andrew Krepinevich is a retired Army officer. He was commissioned BY THE PENTAGON to write this report. If he were to have some sort of agenda, don't you think that he would have written the report showing the exact opposite? Our very own Secretary of Defense, Mr. Donald Rumsfeld, hasn't even READ the report. Yeah, I'm gonna put a whole lot of confidence in what he says when he hasn't even read the thing, right? Hardly. I can't find the story right this minute, I'm still looking for it though, but yes, one of our very own commanding generals IN THE FIELD has echoed the sentiment of both reports (both the one commissioned by the Pentagon and the independent report done by former Clinton administration officials). The Chief of the Army Reserve, Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, has also stated that the Reserves have reached the point of being unable to fulfill mission requirements. (That statement is linked to a news article, not just underlined.)

Ah, yes, here's one of the articles I was trying to find...General Casey himself has said that at the very least, Army troops are stretched thin, though he "insisted they were capable of accomplishing their missions".

General says troops in Iraq 'stretched'


But I guess General Casey also has an agenda, right? :roll:
 
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