Friday, July 23, 2004

Army stretched to its best

Phillip Carter argues that our army is quite possibly the best it has ever been because of Iraq. He notes that "the stresses of war--and in particular the aftermath of defeat or failure--have historically spurred the most profound and lasting revolutions in military affairs," and then goes on to give many examples of how the US Army has been forced to implement many overdue reforms. Combining this with noting the benefit of having so many combat veterans, he paints quite a bright picture. He also notes that, "Despite dire predictions about recruiting and retention, the Army Reserve has largely met both sets of targets since 2001, even with the extremely high operational tempo."

However great a fighting force the army has become, Carter still thinks, "Even when our commitment in Iraq ends, it will be several years before our forces have recovered enough to take on a military venture of similar size." I suspect it will take popular opinion even longer to recover.