It’s pretty clear that if North Korea decided to take offensive action against anyone, the US couldn’t do much to stop them. While few of our military folks are willing to talk about specific options, our overcommitted US military will find it difficult to respond quickly to anything there. Indeed, in May Gen. George Casey, Army Chief of Staff, it would take about 90 days to get more troops to the Korean peninsula.br /The problem is that the US Government has for years totally ignored the fact that our active military is far too small for what we’re asking it to do. Thus we have committed so much of our troops and treasure to Iraq and Afghanistan for so long that our conventional military has little stretch left in it.br /There’s more. During a 22 April hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee the Army Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, and Gen. James Amos, the Assistant Commandant of the Marines, gave blunt, unencouraging answers to the senators.br /“I think it would be very difficult, challenging — I don’t think there is any question about it,” Amos said, adding that it would “emasculate all our strategic reserves.” The toll of the last seven years of combat has forced the service to sacrifice its traditionally vaunted capabilities in combined arms operations and large-scale amphibious operations to be the excellent counterinsurgency force it has become.br /Our too small military is at its limit. We can only ask so much of these brave men and women. It’s time for a significant increase in the size of our military.
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