It was obvious in the fall of 2001 that the U.S. Army was too small. As I noted in January 2002 in piece that appeared in January 2002, a national debate in the U.S. on military manpower was necessary. My own preference was to turn to a national service requirement because I view national service--not necessarily in the military--as an important component of citizenship.
Thanks to the pig-headed insistence of Donald Rumsfeld and his cohorts at the Pentagon that debate has been postponed, but it is all the more necessary today.
The new decision by Gates only further stretches an army that is already asked to do too much. The exit of many, many capable young officers and NCOs should be a warning sign that the current manpower path is unsustainable. I will post my early comments here later.
Gates Announces Longer Tours in Iraq