Monday, July 31, 2006

Murtha and his myth of (wish for?) a "broken army"

For reasons of what could only be described as political gain, Congressman John Murtha has been "cheerleading" for our enemy (i.e., we cannot win militarily!) and putting down our armed forces as "broken" and "living hand to mouth" Other equally-(if not more so) credentialled military experts politely say, "BUNK!" Yet Murtha presses on, while our enemies likely cheer on his efforts.

Our best and bravest have been fighting on the Iraqi and/or Afghani fronts for five years now, and have been performing admirably under adverse circumstances--something our fighting forces have done in every conflict since time immemoriam. But to listen to Jack Murtha, and if he would have his way, it would appear that our brave soldiers are ready to run with their tails between their legs:
LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Most U.S. troops will leave Iraq within a year because the Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth," Rep. John Murtha told a civic group.
Years of fighting takes a toll on the armed forces in every war. But in every war, every instance of adversity has always been (and continues to be) overcome through the bravery, ingenuity and sheer will of our fine soldiers and their leaders. But to listen to Murtha, it would appear that our soldiers are nothing but beaten up puppy dogs:
Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat and vocal critic of the president on Iraq, said front-line units remain combat-ready, but nondeployed brigades back in the States are suffering.

"It's these units that are critically short of equipment, personnel, causing the vast majority of them to be rated at the lowest readiness level," said Mr. Murtha, who has announced plans to seek a Democratic leadership post next year.

Mr. Murtha contends that Army units at Fort Hood, Texas, home to the 4th Infantry and 1st Cavalry divisions, lack sufficient equipment with which to prepare for deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Bases have had to cut operations, such as shorter mess-hall hours, to save money. Army repair depots do not have enough money to fix broken weapons systems, and the congressman said the Marines are suffering a similar plight.

Not true, says Army General Keane (Ret.):
Retired Gen. John Keane, Army vice chief of staff in the early days of the Bush administration, has recently visited Fort Hood and Fort Bragg, N.C. He has viewed firsthand the shortfalls, but says that the Army overall is in good shape and can
recover when more money hits the pipeline.

"The readiness of their equipment is being degraded by the lack of a supplemental [appropriation] to return equipment as soon as possible, and it also affects the training money you have to do -- all the training they would like to do," Gen. Keane said in an interview. "They are not broken units, but their state of readiness is not as high as the commanders want them to be."

With a good portion of the Army's 10 active divisions and the Marine Corps' two divisions either deployed or preparing to go back overseas, it is increasingly important that other units stay ready to fight another war, such as a conflict with North Korea.

Mr. Murtha said it would "be impossible to sustain a second front, almost impossible to deploy to a second front." The congressman, a Marine Vietnam combat veteran, has said in the past that the Army is broken.

Gen. Keane, however, "totally and completely disagrees."

"The quality of troops is high. Morale is high. Retention is what it should be. You look these guys in the eyeballs. They are committed as anybody I've seen. The junior officers, sergeants, officers at the battalion and brigade levels are much better than when I was at their level of responsibility."

He pointed out that the retention rates of the two Army divisions now in Iraq are well over 100 percent of their goals. (emphasis added)
Quite a difference in opinion between two guys with military backgrounds.

I thank God that Murtha's not running the military.