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Slate: U.S. military falling apart

September 15, 2006

Slate has an article covering the extreme shortfall of combat ready troops in Iraq. It prompted a minor quibble and a reconsideration of the Iraq War policy.

First, my quibble on raising taxes. The transformation that Donald Rumsfield started also kicked off high tech projects that soaked up tremendous budgetary resources. This, combined with Defence Department pet projects, has eaten a large portion of the “war on terror” budget increases of the last five years. This is not necessarily an issue of raising taxes but realigning the Defence Department budget to the troops on the ground.

Secondly, I have strongly believed that we need to stay in Iraq for at least the short term. I believe that the decision to go to war was a bad one. However, the price we are going to pay if we leave will be great. Regional stability is critical. Iran and Turkey both have designs within Iraq. Having this many competing interests is very troubling for the security of Iraq and the U.S. Now, the price that we are paying may prevent us from completing out mission. This was always a question that had no easy answers. The answers got a little worse.

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