Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: American Army Of Occupation In Iraq Is Overstretched Says US Study ..

25 January 2006

American Army Of Occupation In Iraq Is Overstretched Says US Study .. Press published a truly thought provoking piece today, via a report by Associated Press writer Robert Burns.

It quite clearly calls into considerable question the recent Donald Rumsfeld claims to the contrary, concerning both the current and future realistic capabilities of the United States army of occupation in Iraq.

Here's the eye catching, as well as eye opening, headline.

Wed, Jan. 25, 2006

Deployments stretching army, study finds

ROBERT BURNS - Associated Press

Then that header's followed by this plain speaking paragraph.

WASHINGTON - Stretched by frequent troop rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has become a "thin green line" that could snap unless relief comes soon, according to a study for the Pentagon.

Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency.

Furthermore, it's claimed the same Pentagon appointed ex military man [cum expert advisor] aired the following view too ...

He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.

Here's another excerpt lifted from the same story.

The 136-page report represents a more sobering picture of the Army's condition than military officials offer in public.

While not released publicly, a copy of the report was provided in response to an Associated Press inquiry.

Illustrating his level of concern about strain on the Army, Krepinevich titled one of his report's chapters, "The Thin Green Line."

And the majority of This Old Brit's readers can no doubt readily recall this from last fall:

Rep. John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam veteran, created a political storm last fall when he called for an early exit from Iraq, arguing that the Army was "broken, worn out" and fueling the insurgency by its mere presence.

Administration officials have hotly contested that view.

Well, of course they would wouldn't they? I mean, they had to say something didn't they? Couldn't quite claim they'd prefer to plead the fifth and stay silent. Eh?

Now get a gander at this -- from retired top brass, no less.

George Joulwan, a retired four-star Army general and former NATO commander, agrees the Army is stretched thin.

"Whether they're broken or not, I think I would say if we don't change the way we're doing business, they're in danger of being fractured and broken, and I would agree with that," Joulwan told CNN last month.

Hit this link to read all about it.

Then when you've read it, remember -- Richard reports. You decide.


Anonymous graniab said...

Of course this revelation will come as no surprise to Old Brit readers! However, I am saddened to think of all the parents of servicemen and women who still support 'this shower of dossers' who run our country - and steadfastly defend our glorious Emperor who has sent their children into harm's way.

6:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would also account for their desperation for Britain and other countries to replace thousands of their troops in Afghanistan.

8:58 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

Not news to anyone with any experience either of counterinsurgency or peacekeeping alas. The simple fact is that while the US army is very good at what it does it's absolutely disastrous at this sort of thing. There are two reasons for this:

1) They quite simply are not trained for it. They have no idea of how to cool a situation down.

2) They used to be very good at logistics. They aren't any more every fighting soldier on the ground depends upon a long logistical chain. What we call the "tail." This capacity has been the subject of swinging cuts from the moment Bush took office and replaced with civilian "contractors" who have demonstrated very clearly that they are nowhere near as competent as their uniformed predecessors.

There's an alarming (from the viewpoint of the Pentagon) corollary to this. Which is that as the US begins to retreat to from Iraq that they can no longer rely upon a logistical chain capable of defending itself. You can expect to see very high casualty and mortality rates both amongst contractors and US armed forces personnel as the "drawdown" takes place.

9:01 pm  
Anonymous grania said...

Speaking purely as a heartless bitch that I am - I will shed no tears for high casualty rates for 'contractors' who are nothing more than mercenaries - but kids who are drawn to the military with promises of a better life and an education at the end of their tour - that is a different matter!

9:34 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

As regards the so called "security contractors/consultants" I couldn't agree with you more. As far as I'm concerned mercenaries are vermin.

I agree with you about the soldiers who are there because they have no choice and who it must be said mostly act with decency and honour under very difficult circumstances.

Who I feel dreadfully sorry for are people like the cooks, cleaners, and a fairly heft number of the lorry drivers. A lot of them are employed by Indian employment agencies for a pittance and are "rented out" to the main contracting firms. Their pay such as it is very often severely in arrears, they are treated as less than the dirt they clean up, and as this situation develops are going to endure hell on earth. I hope to God that the US army takes account of their plight and evacuates them first.

10:15 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

I am slightly aware of the slave labour who support the US military in Iraq. I do not understand why local people could not have been employed at decent wages to fill these jobs. Who knows it might have created 'good will' as well as helping out Iraqi families. However, when the US leaves rest assured there will be little thought given to the foreign workers. On a totally different indelicate subject - does fraternization occur at all? I'm just thinking of the children that were left behind in Vietnam.

11:52 pm  
Anonymous bluey said...

Hey Mark,

That's unfair to vermin.

Seriously, I share all your concerns. It's a nightmare scenario - of Bushco's making. One that did NOT need to happen.

11:53 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Bluey - LOL

12:40 am  
Blogger Richard said...

All very valid points, everyone. And none with which I differ in any way.

What makes the 'nightmare' all the worse in my own opinion is because, as anon says, this whole damned mire is the absolutely inevitable outcome foresaw so clearly by so many. Sadly, the highest price [as usual] is paid by those with the least to gain but the most to lose.

I often refer to the old time US general, Smedely [s?] Butler who famously once said: "War is a racket." Sadly, seldom does it mean much to many.

12:43 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Rumsfeld has responded and Boy, oh boy! Is he RILED !!

But he still can't understand or admit the difference between attacking and invading ~ and occupying. If he won't admit it's broken it's never going to get fixed. So US soldiers and Iraqi civilians are going to keep on dying. And keep on, and keep on, and keep on .....

1:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grrrrr. Stupid me. I meant to include this latest Rumsfeld link.

1:31 am  
Anonymous Rex said...

Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Blair, Straw, et al -- all experts on the military -- yet none of them have ever seen a shot fired in anger - anywhere - except on their TV sets. They make me puke.

2:23 pm  
Anonymous xxx said...

Army of Occupation.
You said it. Most of us are too ashamed to come right out and admit that.

5:47 pm  

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