Monday, October 16, 2006
You lose the war with the Humvees you have, not the Humvees you want
Ma, they've broken the Army!.
Every single Bradley and Humvee not in Iraq or Afghanistan is busted. Every... single... one of them.
I cannot understate the scale of the disaster that this is. First of all, if anybody anywhere else in the world starts making trouble, there's no troops to send there, unless we're going to send light infantry walking on two feet as cannon fodder. We don't have enough troops to use them as cannon fodder. But worse of all is the effect upon training: There isn't any.
One of the thing that has traditionally differentiated the U.S. Army from potential adversaries during the post-Vietnam era has been the professionalism and training of its soldiers. The first Gulf War in 1992-1993 is a perfect example of how well the U.S. Army can function when clicking on all cylinders. Desert Storm was a perfect example of using airpower to immobilize an enemy, then using maneuver and concentration to cut him to pieces. Yes, the U.S. had better tanks than Saddam, but not by that much. What the U.S. had was a huge edge in training and operational capabilities not to mention morale.
Now, morale is in the pits, and there's no equipment to use to train all the gang bangers, autistic kids, and just plain dumb recruits that are being accepted under new lower standards. So even if the recruits were as high a calibre as in the past, the Army's effectiveness as a whole is much reduced over what it was in 1992.
As the war goes on, things are going to get even worse. The Army is caught in a war of attrition in Iraq. But the Army isn't set up for a war of attrition. None (zero) of the Army's major weapons systems are still in production, with the sole exception of the HMMWV, which AM General has the capability make approximately 4500 of per year. 4500 HMMWV's isn't even replacement rate for the ones being destroyed in Iraq. The M1 tank hasn't been manufactured since 1993. Its gas turbine engine has been out of production since 1992. The Bradley hasn't been manufactured since 1994. Because we had enough Bradleys and M1's for Ronald Reagan's 18 division Army, it was felt that we had plenty for any war that we'd ever fight, and thus no need to make more. But that was before George W. Bush sent so many of them to be ground into shards in the sands of Iraq for years at a time.
If this goes on, the U.S. Army stands a good chance of simply disintegrating -- becoming completely ineffective, with military units that lack the skills, training, and equipment to even defend themselves, much less embark upon offensive operations against an enemy. The last time this happened was in 1972, when a drastic military withdrawal from Vietnam occurred because the U.S. Army units there simply had ceased to exist as viable military formations, with recon patrols turning into trips to the local coffee houses to smoke heroin, and Army sergeants and lieutenants being frequent victims of fraggings if they tried to order their men into combat. Only a complete withdrawal and re-organization of the Army succeeded in rebuilding it into a usable military force, but as a result when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and the Iranians rebelled against the Shah, President Carter had no Army to send even if he'd desired to do so. It took over ten years to rebuild the Army after the disaster of Vietnam... and unfortunately, my suspicion is that it'll take another ten years to rebuild the Army after the disaster of Iraq. Or else we'll simply cease to have a viable Army. Which, I suppose, would make the rest of the world breathe in relief, but is hardly a "good" thing for America and Americans...
-- Badtux the Military Penguin
Posted by: BadTux / 10/16/2006 10:07:00 AM
And other countries see what's happening to our military too. What a freakin' mess we're in. It's going to also take a fecal matter load of money to get things back even up to par. Where's that coming from? We better get some sane people back in charge before this baby is lost.
One general or some such was on tv saying guys are about to be sent over there have never fired the kind of gun they'll be using when they get there. That's not training, it's just main-streaming.
# posted by pissed off patricia : 16/10/06 12:22 PM
Oh forget it.. The world is going to hell. Time to buy some guns and head for the hills. In the meantime, can we get something a little happier like more cat pics?
# posted by : 16/10/06 2:44 PM
Also, the Brits are our of helicopters and Murka doesn't have any to loan them.
# posted by K. Ron Silkwood : 16/10/06 5:19 PM
And how much money is the Pentagon getting to keep things running? While not a big fan of massive defense spenidng, I'd like to at least get our money's worth. And don't we owe it to the poor men and women in the front lines?
# posted by TheCultureGhost : 16/10/06 9:14 PM
So, what is basically happening is that they're bombing us back to the stone age?!? :-(
# posted by : 17/10/06 10:53 AM
As long as we have an air force.
# posted by : 17/10/06 7:06 PM
- Name: BadTux
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Cost of the War in Iraq