Friday, April 06, 2007

Reid: Bush Damaging Military Readiness

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today blasted George W. Bush for the Defense Department's proposal to again overextend the military and send 12,000 more National Guard combat forces to Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that Bush has "done more than anyone to damage troop readiness."

"Democrats are continuing to fight to give our troops the resources they need, including a strategy for success worthy of their sacrifices," said Reid, in a statement today. "The President's new plan to follow up his ill-advised escalation by sending ill-prepared National Guard troops to Iraq is another misguided strategy neither our troops nor the American people can afford. Nearly 90 percent of the Army National Guard has less than half the equipment they need to respond to a national crisis, and the war in Iraq is endangering our National Guard at home."

The additional deployment is yet another example of how the Bush administration simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth as, just months ago, the American people were given assurances that the "surge" of 21,000 U.S. troops would be sufficient to pursue the administration's latest ill-advised Iraq initiatives.

“I think this was all concealed until we got through the election,” retired Army General Barry McCaffrey, told NBC News. “There’s no way to sustain the current rate of deployments without calling up probably nine National Guard brigades in the coming year for involuntary second tours.”

In other words, the people who so piously claim they support the troops are doing everything possible to hurt them and their families even more.

"President Bush has done more than anyone to damage troop readiness, which are at levels not seen since the Vietnam War," said Reid. "While the Administration continually shifts its stance on when the escalation will end and when we will see results, our military is stretched too thin and our troops are returning to combat too soon and with too little training."

That notion would surely cause anyone with a conscience to lose some sleep this weekend but, fortunately for them, Bush and Congressional Republicans are not burdened with the weight of actually caring about our troops and their families.