Our Broken National Guard and Army Reserve

I posted this back in November of 2006, but it’s worth posting again.  Apparently, the Washington Post has discovered that the Bush Administration isn’t supporting the troops after all. 

And they are especially not supporting the National Guard and the Army Reserve.  In fact, they have pretty much run these two organizations into the ground. 

It’s one of the many things that the Bush Administration has screwed up that will take decades, if not generations to repair.  That is, if the Democrats will stop fighting each other, stop being scared to point out the obvious and offer some new approaches to our problems, rather than nibbling around the edges of issues to maintain a consensus while keeping one eye on the polls.

Not only are they not supporting the troops, but if you look at the Department of Defense’s own FY 2006 National Guard and Reserve Equipment Report you
will see that much of the equipment that would be needed in your own
community during a domestic emergency such as a flood or an earthquake
is in very short supply.  Trucks, trailers, generators, and radios are
a few of the items in sort supply thanks to the misguided policies of
the Bush Administration.

Equipment_shortages

This chart shows that the Army National Guard and Reserve forces are short about $19 billion dollars worth of equipment.

Here’s part of what the report has to say:

" In the past, the Army National Guard has not been fully resources
with equipment.  The shortfall is in equipment on hand and
compatibility.  The compatibility issue will be discussed in another
paragraph but its importance affects equipment on hand.  The Army
provides guidance on what equipment is considered to be an authorized
substitute for primary equipment.  While substitutes can be counted in
determining equipment on hand, the reality is that much of the
substitute equipment does not deploy because it is not the most modern
and capable equipment.  The goal is to have troops being deployed into
combat equipped with the best equipment possible.  The Army National
Guard has had many units resourced below 70 percent for equipment on
hand but were required to mobilize units at 90 to 100 percent for all
items of equipment.  It has required cross leveling withing the Army
National Guard to fill equipment on hand shortages.  The Army National
Guard tracks State to State directed transfers, but not internal state
transfers. Since the start of the war over 102,000 items have
been directed to be cross leveled between States for the Army National
Guard."

This is a long report, and the Bush Administration counts on the fact that you won’t
take the time to read it, but it speaks to the utter failure of the
Bush administration to keep our troops supplied and our state guard
units prepared to help in another Katrina-type disaster.

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