A group of experts who served on a "working group" to the Iraq Study Group (ISG), have concluded that military readiness is at its lowest since Vietnam.
Salon.com reports that some of the experts are fustrated that the White House did absolutely nothing to prevent the "degradation" of U.S. ground forces' readiness.
In interviews with Salon, experts who served on the study group's "working groups" explained why: The military is running out of troops and equipment. The cold, hard facts about military readiness and a 1.4 million-strong active-duty force rule out a big increase in the size of the U.S. footprint in Iraq. "We don't have enough is the short answer," said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University who served on the military and security working group of the bipartisan commission headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton. Advocating a big increase in troop levels now is just political theater, Hoffman argued. "This is the beginning of the who-lost-Iraq debate," he explained. "No one wants to be a charter member of the club."
Some advisors to the study group expressed considerable frustration that the White House never lifted a finger to prevent the predictable degradation in the readiness of U.S. ground forces, now painfully apparent. Among other things, the White House could have worked early on to greatly increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps. "We've been whistling by the graveyard without doing anything to solve this problem," said Michael Eisenstadt, a study group advisor from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.