From to lips of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to your ears:
“The pace of ongoing operations has prevented our forces from fully training for the full spectrum of operations and impacts our ability to be ready to counter future threats,” Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in testimony prepared for delivery Wednesday.
Mullen’s stern warnings are likely to become welcome political fodder for anti-war Democrats, who want legislation requiring that troops spend more time at home between combat tours. Last year’s efforts to pass such a bill failed after intense lobbying by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who says it would do more harm than good and tie the hands of military commanders. […]
Mullen says adding more troops to the payroll is a necessary step toward easing the strain on a force that cannot sustain the current pace of operations. According to Mullen, Army soldiers should be limited to yearlong combat tours, instead of 15-month deployments, and eventually be given two years at home between deployments, instead of just one. Marines should move to 14 months at home following seven-month deployments, he said.
“I am extremely concerned about the toll the current pace of operations is taking on them and on their families, on our equipment and on our ability to respond to crises and contingencies beyond ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.
Mullen also said violence in Iraq has “substantially decreased,” but that Afghanistan is facing “a growing insurgency, increasing violence and a burgeoning drug trade fueled by widespread poppy cultivation.”
Not that this will do anything to stop Our Dear Leader from continuing his insane obsession with Iraq. We’ll still be “surging” there until the day he leaves office. But I hope the next President, whomever that may be is listening now to what he’s saying. The Chairmen of the JCS doesn’t very often testify against the policies of the President, their commander in chief, very often. So when they do you know the shit has really hit the fan. How badly messed up is our military? How broken down is their equipment? How inadequate their training? How low are their standards for admission? How ruined is their morale after numerous long term deployments that never accomplish anything except waste money and lives?
I suspect Admerial Mullen knows the answers to these questions though he would never give a complete response to them. Nonetheless, the fact that he felt the need to contradict this administration, which promotes only those commanders who toe the party line, speaks volumes.