Nov. 21, 2006 — In a November 19 editorial (“The Army We Need”), the New York Times makes a number of statements that merit responses:
TIMES CLAIM: The Army’s end strength “needs to be increased by some 75,000 to 100,000 troops.”
FACTS: The Army’s active force has increased by some 20,000 soldiers in the last six years. The “Operational Army”—those who deploy and fight—has been significantly increased by internal restructuring, which will add some 40,000 additional soldiers to the operational side by 2008.
TIMES CLAIM: A higher end strength would enable “a doubling of special operations forces.”
FACTS: Since Fiscal Year 2001 the budget for special operations forces has more than doubled. By 2011, the Special Operations Forces will be the largest they have been in more than 30 years, which will be a 50 percent increase in personnel from 2001.
TIMES CLAIM: The “morale and confidence of America’s serving men and women” needs to be restored.
FACTS: The Army successfully met its recruiting goal of 80,000 individuals this year, the second highest goal since 1990. Reenlistment rates remain high, especially among troops who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq.
TIMES CLAIM: Work needs to be done in order to “repair the damage done to America’s military capacities and credibility.”
FACTS: The average soldier and Army unit today has far more and better equipment, and has received far more training than in the past—not to mention sweeping transformations of technology and organization. General Schoomaker has called this Army the “the best led, trained and equipped Army that I’ve ever seen in the field.”
This same claim was being made by Democrats in 1983 when President Reagan was using our troops in Central America. In spite of that, once the Democrats took control of the White House in 1993, furthering what President H.W. Bush started, they decimated our Military numbers and ended up deploying our troops more than either Republcian President before President Clinton.
They decry troop readiness while advertising every negative comment they can about serving in the Military and then complain that only the poor and uneducated end up serving.
Mention of a draft by Democrat Congressmen brings cries of it's only a ploy, he shaking Bush up and such other nonsense, but Congressman Rangel isn't backing off. This also after newly elected and Speaker in Waiting, Nancy Pelosi, has promised to "double the Special Forces." Do they think people will flock to recruitment centers just because Democrats once again grabbed power back, after the years of badmouthing that they have dedicated towards our Military?
Our Military has exceeded enlistment goals in recent years, all while we are at war and retentions rates are better than expected. Still, all we hear from Democrats is how "broken" the Military is, along with their snide comments about how one must be stupid to serve or disadvantaged and can't do anything better.
Come January, Democrats, you will have Congressional Power and it will be upon you to deal with matters and work with President Bush. I await to see how your hollow promises of "civility" and desire to "work with" President Bush work out as your words come abck to haunt you once you discover you have no real new direction or ideas for the country. All this as you once again try to make the Military your new Social experimentation outlet again.