Shortages Threaten Guard's Capability
Nearly 90 percent of Army National Guard units in the United States are rated "not ready" -- largely as a result of shortfalls in billions of dollars' worth of equipment -- jeopardizing their capability to respond to crises at home and abroad, according to a congressional commission that released a preliminary report yesterday on the state of U.S. military reserve forces.It should be obvious by now that the Bush administration cares much less about US security than it does about oil and power. Steve Soto discussed how the National Guard is something the Democrats could do something about. As I discussed below it's unlikely they will.
The report found that heavy deployments of the National Guard and reserves since 2001 for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for other anti-terrorism missions have deepened shortages, forced the cobbling together of units and hurt recruiting.
We can't sustain the [National Guard and reserves] on the course we're on," said Arnold L. Punaro, chairman of the 13-member Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, established by Congress in 2005. The independent commission, made up mainly of former senior military and civilian officials appointed by both parties, is tasked to study the mission, readiness and compensation of the reserve forces.
"The Department of Defense is not adequately equipping the National Guard for its domestic missions," the commission's report found. It faulted the Pentagon for a lack of budgeting for "civil support" in domestic emergencies, criticizing the "flawed assumption" that as long as the military is prepared to fight a major war, it is ready to respond to a disaster or emergency at home.