Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The other costs of the war

Iraq continues to take its toll. This story from the Washington Post about the army and marines asking for an increase in the number or troops.

The Army and Marine Corps are planning to ask incoming Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Congress to approve permanent increases in personnel, as senior officials in both services assert that the nation’s global military strategy has outstripped their resources.

Although the numbers talked about in the article don’t rally seem all that large but I suppose it is a start. It’s been obvious for awhile the toll the Iraq war has taken on the armed forces. To be specific the army and marines. The costs of replacing all the equipment lost will be huge. The costs of the army equipping the national guard units it plans to use for rotations will be $36 billion. I have to assume that that is a best case guess of the total cost.

The toll on personnel seems to be equally devastating. Some units will be starting their third tour of duty. This is a great deal to expect of the army and marines. At some point without some sort of relief, a breaking point could be reached. The additional troops won’t be available for a few years . The army is planning to have 70 active-duty and National Guard combat brigades available for rotations by 2011. But that’s three year away.

I worry about what happens in the meantime. I guess we hope nothing else bad happens in the world.

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