Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wes Clark on the Iraq War

Retired General Wes Clark testified before the House Armed Services Committee today. In his prepared testimony, he provided a concise summary of effect of the Iraq war on our national security:
Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network are still at large, terrorist incidents have continued to take innocent life, and U.S. military actions in Iraq have provided a magnet for recruiting and training large numbers of extremist youth in continuing warfare. If Iraq is today the center of the war against terrorism, as some in the Administration have contended, it is not because the terrorists were there originally, but because they have been recruited there to the fight against us. Our military action in Iraq is more a catalyst for terrorists than a cure. Whatever results may ultimately come from removing Saddam Hussein from power, ending the terrorist threat against the United States of America is not likely to be one of them.
General Clark continued with this assessment of the readiness of our armed forces:
Even more importantly, the human costs to the all-volunteer Army, especially, have been staggering. The Army currently has 17 brigades deployed in Iraq, from an active force of 33 brigades, which should grow to 44 brigades as the result of internal Army restructuring. Most reserve component brigades have already been called up and deployed.
...
Even worse is the treatment that the United States is meting out to its returning reservists, Guardsmen, and other veterans. Over the past three years there has been a substantial erosion of veterans benefits -- hospitals have closed or reduced treatments, usage fees have risen, returning reservists and Guardsmen have lost jobs, had their homes foreclosed on, credit scores ruined, suffered family tragedies, and significant stresses. The adjustment mechanisms to receive home our soldiers and then to sustain them and care for them as a grateful nation should are simply inadequately developed and funded.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We welcome those who choose the terrorist path to Iraq. Better to kill them there than to fight them in NYC, Boston and LA.

Grump

7:11 PM, April 07, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its better to support our troops and NOT decrease VA spending for both discretionary and non-discretionary items.

If we go to war, "to protect America," then we need to take care of the troops.

They are NOT bodies to be walked upon.

8:18 PM, April 08, 2005  

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