View Full Version : Competing views on competing needs - Mass vs. Technology

Rob Thornton
05-19-2007, 01:31 PM
The Bottom Line Is, U.S. Needs A 650,000-Troop Army
By Austin Bay
How many ground troops does the United States need? (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/4817661.html)

Answering that question depends on your vision of the future specifically, the military challenges the United States will face over the next 10 to 15 years..........

America expects its military to win its wars, which means having war-fighters proficient with weaponry ranging from bayonets to smart bombs. But America also expects its military to competently use a trowel, auditing software and a doctor's bag, and occasionally provide legal, political and investment advice. That's been the military's burden since 1992, when the Era of Peacekeeping replaced the Cold War. Sept. 11 replaced the Era of Peacekeeping with a global war over the conditions of modernity, where the trowels and investment advice are often as important as combat skills.

We need more troops. That will mean spending tax dollars but with 300 million people, we have the recruiting pool to support a 650,000-soldier Army. We also need to get the skills of U.S. government civilian agencies into the field. That will take tax dollars and focused political leadership.

Boston Globe
May 19, 2007

Bush Resists Democrats On Military Pay
White House says 3.5% hike is too costly
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/05/19/bush_resists_democrats_on_military_pay/)

WASHINGTON -- The White House is trying to kill a Democratic plan to increase the size of a military pay raise next year, contending it would be too costly and that members of the armed forces are already sufficiently compensated.

In a letter from the White House Office of Management and Budget to congressional committees overseeing the military, OMB director Rob Portman said Wednesday that the administration "strongly opposes" a Democratic plan to bump up military salaries by 3.5 percent instead of Bush's request for a 3 percent jump.

"The cost of increasing the FY 2008 military pay raise by an additional 0.5 percent is $265 million in FY 2008 and $7.3 billion" if similar raises are enacted over the next five years, Portman's office said in a six-page memo outlining concerns about the defense spending bill that was approved by the House early Friday and will be taken up by the Senate this week......

My favorite observation is from Bay on trying to eat steak and lobster on a Mickey D's budget. :wry:


05-22-2007, 09:05 PM
This is interesting stuff. I remember when the drawdown really began to take off after the Gulf War, DoD executed a plan that Cheney, Powell, and crew came up with. In 1993-1994 the Army kind of hit it's glide path, and the debate started on can we cut more. I remember hearing Gordon sullivan state the Army needed 12 divisions to meet potential security needs of the nation. In 1993-1994 The adminisatrtation and Congress decided to downsize us another two divisions, but rationalized it by stating that the 10 divisions would be full up (three BDE divisons, no two brigades with ARNG providing the third). If you look at what we are bringing on line, the 12 division requirement appearss to have been valid, and would have us much further along thna we are now. I guess the business type answer was that when we restructured, we didn't properly use the newly available resources to recapitilize the operation properly to remain the most efficient competitor in the then future and now current globalized marketplace