Jack Murtha continues to lead the charge toward bringing the United States down to a third-world power. Murtha's actions and inactions are making it quite clear that he intends to utilize our national security as a political football instead of giving it the serious consideration it deserves.
Even as Gates was telling unpleasant truths to people in uniform--for it is they who will most bear the brunt of the Long War--congressional Democrats revealed how deeply they remain a state of denial. Rep. John Murtha, the chairman of the House appropriations defense subcommittee, announced his opposition to the Bush administration’s plan (and the supposed position of presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama) to increase the size of the active-duty Army and Marine Corps. Taking a page out of the Rummy pre-9/11 playbook, Murtha declared that the Pentagon “is going to have to cut personnel in order to pay for procurement.”
To be sure, the Defense Department faces critical budget problems. Procurement needs are genuine: Most current major U.S. weapons systems are products of the Reagan build-up. But, as Gates puts it, you have to win the war you’re in. The Bush troop plan is, if anything, a belated half-measure, a snail-paced increase that would bring the combined size of the Army and Marine Corps to about 750,000 in 2013, just 10 percent more than it was in 2005. Sen. John McCain has called for a larger, longer-term surge that would bring total land-force strength to 900,000.
The theme of Gates’s NDU speech was a warning about the limits of wonder weapons. While lauding “advances in precision, sensor, information and satellite technology,” he admonished the military to “never neglect the psychological, cultural, political and human dimensions of warfare, which is inevitably tragic, inefficient and uncertain.” He concluded his talk with words from one of the greatest American practitioners of irregular warfare, Gen. “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, whose experience taught him “no matter how a war starts, it ends in mud. It has to be slugged out--there are no trick solutions or cheap shortcuts.” It is ironic that Gates, the soft-spoken former intelligence officer, better understands the need for boots on the ground than Murtha, the gruff former Marine.
But Murtha led the way when Democrats turned hard against the Iraq war in 2006; without his imprimatur, surely, Speaker Nancy Pelosi might have moderated her anti-war, San Francisco instincts. Apparently the Democratic strategy is now to limit the prospects for future mischief--that is, the prospects for successfully waging the Long War--by withholding the manpower that is needed. They’re doubling down on defeat.
Time and time again, Murtha has shown that he's dangerous, both to boots presently on the ground, as well as to our nation's future security.
PA-12, the nation looks to you. It's high time that MURTHA MUST GO!!
Americans, the choice is stark. Lt. Col. William Russell (ret) is a man of honor, and deserves our support!