General George Casey, the Army’s top officer, told Congress on Wednesday that the Army “has been stretched so thin by the war in Iraq that it can not adequately respond to another conflict.” Although this has come up in the past, many times, the Bush Administration fails to listen and yesterday’s warning was “one of the strongest warnings yet from a military leader that repeated deployments to war zones in the Middle East have hamstrung the military’s ability to deter future aggression.”
In his first appearance as Army chief of staff, Casey told the House Armed Services Committee that the Army is “out of balance” and “the current demand for our forces exceeds the sustainable supply. We are consumed with meeting the demands of the current fight and are unable to provide ready forces as rapidly as necessary for other potential contingencies.”
Interestingly, “officials said Casey, who appeared along with Army Secretary Pete Geren, personally requested the public hearing – a highly unusual move that military analysts said underscores his growing concern about the health of the Army, America’s primary fighting force.”
Casey’s testimony yesterday sent a clear message: If President Bush or Congress does not significantly reduce US forces in Iraq soon, the Army will need far more resources – and money – to ensure it is prepared to handle future security threats that the general warned are all but inevitable.
Off course, the Bush Administration has no problem requesting more money from Congress for his Iraq War based on lies. Yesterday, “Secretary of Defense Robert Gates asked Congress for a record-setting $190 billion to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next year – nearly $50 billion more than anticipated. Most of the money would go to Iraq.”
If the request is approved, the cost of the 2003 invasion will top $600 billion.
The WaPo reports, that the Bush Administration’s “funding request — which came on the same day that the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a nonbinding resolution calling for the split of Iraq into three semiautonomous regions — would boost war spending this year by nearly 15 percent and would bring the total cost of both conflicts to more than $800 billion since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service.”
Bottomline… Bush would rather fund his Iraq War than provide health care for children. It’s time to bring the troops home.