Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Some Perspective For You

...on the feckless tool Francona.

He eviscerates the cracked kernel in red...

Lack of equipment in Kansas is symptomatic of a larger problem


By Lt. Col. Rick Francona

Military analyst


The governor of Kansas claims that recovery efforts in the tornado-devastated town of Greensburg are being hampered by shortages of Kansas National Guard equipment – Humvees, front loaders, trucks – currently deployed to Iraq and not in her state.

Okay, let’s get the politics out of this up front. I am not sure how much her party affiliation – she is a Democrat – plays into her remarks. It does make a nice sound bite and checks the “attack the administration” block. That said, she has a point.

[So Governor Sebelius--who is under attack from Press Secretary Tony Snow--is "playing politics?" Now, how much do you want to be if she were a Republican, not a whisper or a word would be said in response to her very accurate and level-headed assessment? The fact of the matter is, LTG Blum, head of the National Guard, said last month that there was a shortage of equipment. Every reserve and National Guard unit in the ENTIRE COUNTRY is short of equipment. And Sebelius is playing politics when she says the same thing LTG Blum is saying? When a Republican says something, it's just a Republican saying something. When a Democrat says something, it's politics. Thank you for clearing that up--now that we know that the Republican Party doesn't play politics, I'm sure that we'll stop seeing every member of the Republican Party give speeches in front US servicemen and women from now until the end of time. And how long before the President stands in front of servicemen and firemen and anyone else he can use for a prop? After all--he's not playing politics, is he? No, you moonbat. He's not.]

When the governor complains that much of the Kansas National Guard’s equipment is in Iraq, including 15 of its 19 Blackhawk helicopters, she is describing a symptom of a larger problem that goes far beyond Kansas, and far beyond the present situation. The problem is lack of serviceable equipment and it is not limited to the National Guard and reserves. On average these units have only 40 percent of their authorized “TO&E” –- table of organization and equipment –- and it is not in the best of shape. The Guard is supposed to get $21 billion for new equipment over the next five years –- basically a Band-Aid fix. Our regular forces fare only a bit better.

[That's right--but why not state the facts. The DoD and the Bush Administration have left the United States of America undefended. That, my friends, is the impeachable offense that trumps any other impeachable offense.]

War's toll on military equipment
The five-plus year "global war on terror" has taken its toll on military equipment, especially on the vehicles assigned to the ground forces. The problem is most acute in Iraq, where constant improvised explosive device attacks, combined with a harsh operating environment, have degraded the normally robust Humvees. Modifications to the Humvees to make them fighting vehicles (something they were not designed to be) have added weight and changed the driving characteristics dramatically, and shortened their service life. Many, if not most, need to be replaced. Units rotating back to the States often leave most of their Humvees in Iraq.

[Why is that? Why does a unit leave behind their equipment? Because there is no transportation available to ship them back. Once a unit's gear goes forward, there isn't enough resource available to ship it back to where it came from. And if the gear isn't being replaced, the unit goes without critical equipment. Remind me again--who's running this fucking country? Who's the Decider?]

Whether you agree or disagree with the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq, the fact is that American troops are deployed in a combat zone. Combat operations are tough on equipment, and equipment is expensive. It must be replaced at a much higher rate than during peacetime training rotations. For whatever reason, we have not done that. The administration is reluctant to request the actual funds that are required to keep our forces equipped at the optimum level. Yes, the figure would be shocking, but would you deny an American soldier or Marine the very best hardware, and enough of it? Of course not.

Talk about soft-pedalling the obvious--troops are dying because they are not getting the gear they need. Who vetoed the funding legislation again?

Adequate reserves
As I have noted in the past, our armed forces are too small to protect the worldwide national interests of a superpower. One half of one percent of our population in uniform is not enough if we are to fight essentially two wars, maintain forces in other potential hot spots, support relief efforts, provide forces for United Nations commitments, and still have adequate reserves to respond to emergencies at home.

[United Nations commitments? Like, one battalion for duty in the Sinai peninsula?]

I chose the words “adequate reserves” carefully. In the final analysis, the National Guard is a reserve component of the United States Army –- about half of the Army’s combat units are in the National Guard. While the governor is correct that 20 percent of the Kansas Army National Guard is deployed to Iraq, its primary mission is to provide forces for the United States Army. It is the federal government that funds the National Guard, not the governor.

[And he patently ignores the fact that Bush can Federalize the Guard and take it away from Blue State governors at will--courtesy of a rule change rammed into law by the last Republican Congress. And, he can Federalize the guard and use them to put down citizen insurrections--such as when the Quakers get rowdy and have a peace rally. Yes, the full weight of the US Military can be used to kill American citizens and there isn't a goddamned thing anyone can do about it. Remind me again--who's in charge?]

What is a governor to do when his or her state’s Guardsmen are deployed on federal service? The governor of each state is authorized to organize, train and equip a State Defense Force, not subject to federal service, to be used specifically when the National Guard is away. Kansas has such a force; I assume the governor has mobilized them.

[Otherwise known as the Citizen's Auxilliary? Is he serious? What few people would still be available have just had their homes destroyed. Everyone else is just trying to survive. All of the useful and critical people are deployed or busy keeping everyone alive in their own communities. They are shorthanded and need help--hence, you call out the Guard. Oh, wait--they're in Iraq! Brilliant.]

When all is said and done, the United States needs a larger Army. Until we reestablish an adequate force level to meet the requirements levied on our active duty armed forces, we will continue to call up the National Guard and reserves.

[No, until we bring our troops home and spend hundreds of billions of dollars to retrain, re-equip and rebuild the forces that are charged with defending this country, there will be more US cities wiped off the face of the Earth. Remind me again--who's in charge and who's responsible for this debacle? ]

So how many American cities, exactly, have to disappear before the people finally wake up and "get it"?

Question everything these mendacious pricks say, folks.

No comments: