GEN. John Abizaid, speaking at Harvard last month, before he was forced to fall on his sword:
“This is not an Army that was built to sustain ‘a long war.’”
And that my friends is the dirty little secret. The post Cold War Army is unable to engage in an “Iraq size” conflict for longer than approximately four years. Those in the planning community and those that teach at the Staff/War Colleges had our suspicions, but were never completely sure of ourselves. The thesis had to be tested in the field.
The United States Army defeated the Iraqi Army, finished the Persian Gulf War after the violation of the ceasefire, and ended Saddam Hussein’s quest for weapons of mass of destruction.
Some of my colleagues say that the Army is already broken. Others say that it is on the edge of being broken. We all agree, it is one or the other. No one states that the US Army is a healthy force. Is that the Army that America wants?
The day after Saddam goes to the gallows would be be a perfect day for Americas Army to be welcomed home as victors so that they may prepare for the next conflict which will surely come.
America ultimately won the Persian Gulf War, let no one dispute that. What the Iraqi people of the sovereign nation of Iraq choose to do now, is their own decision.
UPDATE: For a “taste” of where the US Army is at currently, linky. Amazingly, that Democrat report from the House is not far from the actual internal DA reporting and internal staff discussions.
There is no US Army Officer (Field Grade) today, that will testify before Congress stating that the US Army is “capable of engaging in another Iraq size/type military conflict simultaneous with what is going on right now.” We can not do it, period. Right or wrong, America spent the “peace dividend” and President Bush, along with the Congress, did nothing about it on September 12, 2001.
Staying in Iraq, after we have completed our military mission, and it has been completed, is no different than the employee that waits until the “next paycheck” to enroll in the 401 (k) plan.