Kerry For More Troops, Against Troop Call-Ups
Boston Globe — Kerry blasts Bush for military call-ups
Senator John F. Kerry’s campaign yesterday seized on the Pentagon’s call-up of thousands of former soldiers for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan to step up its charge that the Bush administration’s management of the military has left the Army spread dangerously thin. The move demonstrated the Kerry campaign’s increasing willingness to engage Bush on what had been the president’s perceived strength, his handling of national security.
Kerry advisers contend that the call-up of the Individual Ready Reserve is the result of a series of bad decisions and poor war planning by Bush and his top advisers. His campaign released a ”fact sheet” and brought forward a retired Air Force chief who campaigned for Bush in 2000 to reinforce its claims. ”The troops are paying the price for arrogant mismanagement and poor planning at the civilian policy level,” retired Air Force Chief of Staff General Merrilll ”Tony” McPeak, a Kerry adviser, said in a conference call with reporters yesterday. ”The force we have in Iraq today is part of what I call an in-between force — too small to solve the problem and too big to be supported by our force structure.”
While I’m sure McPeak understands strategy, I’m not sure that an Air Force guy is the one to talk to about troop levels, since most blue suiters spend their entire career managing nothing bigger than a flight crew.
Regardless, Kerry has been calling for more troops in Iraq for months. Where is it that he thinks they’re going to come from? It’s not like we can simply crank out experienced soldiers in critical skill levels. The IRR is a repository for just such a purpose: a short term shortage caused by an operational surge.