Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Iran, draft, and the war reserve material: How serious are they?


There's talk of using Iraq to invade Iran. Yet, we have troops arriving in Iraq without weapons. How far stretched are American forces, is there sufficient emphasis on war-production, and what use is it to talk about a draft when we have insufficient equipment?


The drumbeat of non-sense is rising, just as it was in 2002 and 2003 prior to invading Iraq. The media is being accused, as it was in 2003, that "they just don't get it" when it comes to Iran.

And we're also seeing the "previous conflict" as fading from the headlines. Just as Afghanistan was "a test case soon faded," so too is Iraq proving the reason de guerre for invading Iraq.

The war in Iraq has lasted longer than "expected." Brilliant. So how's all the war reserve material doing?

Answer: Units are being sent to Iraq that do not have any combat gear. More

Forget about the failed production lines. There are actual "combat troops" that have nothing to fight with.

Let's consider the production lines now. Part of the sustainment-funding that was allocated "after the cold war ended" was justified on the basis of "keeping the production lines warm." Great. All that money allocated all those years to act as a "bridge" in case something happened.

Well, folks. It's happened. Despite the bridge-funding, they don't have any bridge-equipment.

Meanwhile, let's go back to the production lines. There were production lines shut down long ago; has anyone bothered to go back and find out whether the equipment that is being destroyed in combat is adequately replenished in a timely manner? I'm talking about the regular replenishments--I'm talking about the new production lines above and beyond what was originally budgeted and planned for despite the 2003 fantasy-land forecasts.

Or is the US having to scrape the back closets of the most remotely positioned national guard units? Indeed, even the reserve units don't have equipment. So I'm not clear on how the active duty can scrape anything. Unless they've got stuff hidden stateside that they're not providing to the combat forces. If that's the case, then things are really messed up.

Do you think that the US wants to avoid giving notice by hiding the last stocks? Of course, but if the forces that are actually going into combat aren't able to get supplies, then the fact that there is old-equipment on standby should make one wonder.

You don't think that they've moved this equipment during the night to avoid attention? Possibly, but this only explains why the equipment doesn't appear in the holding areas; but doesn't explain the "lack of priority" to actually move the equipment from stateside sources to combat in Iraq.

Surely, the United States isn't running low of protective equipment but storing that "last wave of supplies" in places where the satellites would not think to look? Not only are they running low, but they don't have the logistics in place to make sure the troops already deployed in the field have sufficient forces. To think they're going to suddenly get new equipment for the draftees is more problematic.

If you're going to have a debate about the draft, and call up more personnel, it would be nice if there were parallel effort to ensure the equipment-lines were also running at a sustainable rate.

What's worse than a draft--draftees sitting around waiting for spare parts that are old, outdated. If you're going to drag civilians into the war fighting, let's make sure they aren't using second hand or old equipment.

The US is getting ready for a draft. Let's hope the US is more honest about the real equipment shortages.

Hiding the equipment shortages with the current shell games may fool an enemy for a while. But it doesn't do much to convince the public that "their government" really stands with them "in their support of the troops."

The decision to hide the equipment problem means there's less pressure to timely get the problem solved. The worst thing to have would be a call to arms, but there being no arms or equipment to support the draftees.

Stop hiding the equipment problem. As it surfaces, we'll see how "serious" the government is in supporting the troops. They're waiting too late to start the production lines. Draftees need real equipment to train with, not cardboard boxes and outdated, inoperative equipment from the cellar.