“But now we learn from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that the force is going to shrink again. Last week he announced that, starting in 2015, the Army is going to lose 27,000 soldiers on top of an already planned cut of 22,000. That will bring the Army’s active duty strength down to 517,000â??still larger than it was in 2001 but far smaller than it was in 1991, and not big enough to meet all of the contingencies for which it must prepare. The Marine Corps will lose 15,000 to 20,000 personnel. So our ground combat forcesâ??the most heavily deployed forces since the end of the Cold Warâ??will be deprived of 70,000 troopers or almost 10 percent of their strength.
We wish that President Obama, who forced these cuts on Gates and the Defense Department, would explain what in the international situation gives him confidence that we can meet all of our security commitments with so many fewer grunts. The president thinks that most of our troops will be gone from Afghanistan by 2015, but how certain is he that the drawdown will occur as envisioned? How certain is he that Pakistan, Yemen, or Somalia won’t be the staging ground for another 9/11, thereby requiring another massive commitment of U.S. troops? How certain is he that we won’t face a war on the Korean Peninsula or in Iran or in some other land where we cannot currently envision sending American forcesâ??any more than anyone could have envisioned on September 10, 2001, that America would eventually have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan?”
Maybe we can bow and scrape, just ask people like the North Korean leadership, to please be nice?