Pentagon Sees Need for More Troops

September 27, 2004

A recent report authorized by the Pentagon says that the U.S. military lacks sufficient troops to continue its current and anticipated operations.

Parts of this study, conducted by the Defense Science Board, were made public by Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat who is in the forefront of demanding an expansion in the size of the military. Reed said that the report found "inadequate total numbers of U.S. troops" and "a lack of long-term endurance."

The report was authorized by the Pentagon as part of its preparations for continuing a long-term "war on terrorism. In assigning the project, Michael Wynne, under secretary of defense, said " Our military expeditions to Afghanistan and Iraq are unlikely to be the last such excursion in the global war on terrorism. . . we may need to effect change in the governance of a country that is blatantly sustaining support for terrorism, or we may need to assist an ally who is unable to govern areas of their country, . . "

Reed himself added that while the U.S. must maintain high troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, "Iran and North Korea are provocative," he said. "They very well might cause us to take military action . . ."

In Congressional testimony, Donald Rumsfeld called the report "provocative and startling." Rumsfeld further emphasized that the U.S. army is presently working to increase its combat strength by reorganization and assigning more administrative tasks to civilians so that uniformed soldiers can be assigned combat duty. Rumsfeld said that if this reorganization fails to meet the needs of military commanders "then, by golly, you're right, well have to go to an increase in end strength.,"

Already the Pentagon has arbitrary extended the duty tours of reservists assigned to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and delayed retirement for soldiers in these countries. This coercion is a form of forced military conscription -- a partial draft.

At the same, the government is preparing for a full scale draft. Bills calling for reinstatement of the draft have been introduced in both houses of Congress and the President has already authorized the Selective Service System to take steps for military draft to be operational by June 15, 2005.