Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More on Washington's War Over Military Funding

A blogging buddy of mine, Gunny John, over at Jarhead's Firing Range, had an excellent post up yesterday on the consequences for U.S. military preparedness and combat effectiveness during the long congressional debate over Iraq war funding. Here's most of the key sections:

Military funding is similar to controlling a hot-air balloon. You can rapidly cause a hot-air balloon to drop by venting the hot air (cutting funding), but adding heat (funding) has a very slow effect on altitude. The military is the same way. If our elected tormentors decide to add funding to the war effort, the military will slowly see benefits from it. It takes time to see the benefits of increased spending in the military. It may take years to purchase new equipment, or develop new deployment plans with newly trained troops. Cutting funding, on the other hand, has an immediate effect. The raw necessities, which we refer to as "beans, bullets, and band-aids," are the first to be cut. What effect would this have on the troops that are on the front lines of this war?

Maintaining a large-scale military operation is expensive. We all know that. What everybody doesn't know is how vital the money is to the upkeep of our military. Our weapons are some of the most advanced systems that the world has ever seen. Many of them are very maintenance-intensive. In other words, it takes many man hours and repair parts to keep these complex systems battle ready. As soon as the money is cut off, repair parts and routine consumables are very hard to get ahold of. Who would feel the pinch first?

The airborne elements would feel the sting of funding cuts first. Close air support, and vital medivac aircraft, would end up going the way of the dodo if funding is cut. Next would be mechanized units, like tanks and light armored vehicles.

Next would come the motor-transport elements that actually get our troops to the fight. All of these would wither away in the dry desert sand.Next, troop deployments would decrease dramatically. No money? No deployments. Troops already in-theater would stay there. They'd try to find a way to get by without replacement personnel or parts. What a nightmare.

Our fighting forces would wither on the vine. They'd scream for help, and it would not be available. We'd see fewer victories, due to a reduced operational tempo; and more defeats, due to less air and mechanized support. The Dems ignore this aspect, and only concentrate on their promise to "bring the troops home."

Cutting funding will only hurt the troops that are already in the fight. The Dems undoubtedly know this, but they don't care. They know that it will hurt Bush's image as the defeats and deaths build. They don't care that the increased loss of American lives will be a direct result of their pencil-pushing insanity. They care more about hurting Bush. What a noble cause that has turned out to be...

This is what happens when legislators attempt to fight battles. I won't offer my opinion on what happens when POLITICIANS in the executive branch attempt to fight battles, as I cannot speak critically of those in my chain of command.

I can, however, offer a recommendation: Fund the troops, put leaders in place that don't give a damn about politics, put "world opinion" aside, kick the crap out of the muslim nutjobs that have sworn to destroy us, and quit caving in to the lefty loons that are itching to surrender to the jihadists. Our enemies are
rooting for the Dems!. That should send a CLEAR message to every rational adult in this nation.
John's a good man, and that's an incisive analysis!

I wrote a post up earlier on "
The War in Washington Over the War in Iraq," citing an Elizabeth Drew article in the New York Review of Books. Drew notes that the partisan fight can't drag on forever, and political compromise is likely. Here's a key section of her piece:

Democratic sources told me that the likely compromise between the House and the Senate bills to be sent to the President would include benchmarks and perhaps some sort of goal for ending the war, but not the House's firm deadlines. Winning House support for such a proposal will be a serious challenge for Speaker Pelosi, but there is confidence that she can pull this off—by promising more restrictive measures in the future. On the supplemental bill itself, these officials say that eventually Congress will probably have to give way and not require or even set a goal for a pullout of the troops by a certain date. But that could come later. As of this writing, the President and the Democrats are conducting a minuet over whether they would meet at the White House to see if a compromise was possible. But Bush's press secretary said on April 10 that "this is not a negotiation."
Jarhead's post generated a heated comment thread, by the way, so if readers get a kick out of that kind of stuff, head on over that way and check it out!

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