July 21, 2009
Gates Announces Army Being Increased By 22,000
A U.S. Army Soldier calls for an airstrike on the hills surrounding Barge Matal, during Operation Mountain Fire in Afghanistan
Gates announces Army being increased by 22,000
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today announced plans to add up to 22,000 Soldiers to the U.S. Army's ranks.
The plus-up of active duty troops will take the Army from 547,000 to 569,000 forces in what Gates characterized as a temporary increase of the Army's "end strength" for three fiscal years.
"This is an important and necessary step to ensure that we continue to properly support the needs of our commanders in the field while providing relief for our current force and their families," the secretary told reporters during a Pentagon news conference.
Gates pointed to escalating violence in Afghanistan and an added U.S. presence there, political turmoil in Pakistan and elimination of the so-called "stop-loss" policy of involuntarily extending a soldier's length of service as reasons behind the decision.
"The cumulative effect of these factors is that the Army faces a period where its ability to continue to deploy combat units at acceptable 'fill rates' is at risk," he said. "Based on current deployment estimates, this is a temporary challenge which will peak in the coming year and abate over the course of the next three years."
Some 130,000 American forces are in Iraq and 58,000 are in Afghanistan, where an influx of deploying troops will bring the number to 68,000 by the end of this year, defense officials said.
"These additional forces will be used to ensure that our deploying units are properly manned, and not to create new combat formations," the defense secretary said, adding that the decision was made after consulting with the Army's top military and civilian leadership and with the backing of President Barack Obama.
Gates, who has described the defense budget as "zero sum," said the cost of the Army increase would be absorbed in funding already allocated in the budget for the next two fiscal years.
"We will take that money from someplace that isn't as high a priority as [adding] more Soldiers and taking some additional steps to relieve the stress on the force," he said. "This is a very high priority."
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared alongside Gates today, and also weighed in on the decision.
"I've grown increasingly concerned over the last year and a half about stress on the force and our ability to meet the demands out there," he said. "This temporary increase helps us address that concern. It will also help us get a better handle on [time at home between deployments] and boost the number of people we can deploy with the capabilities our commanders most need."
Wild Thing's comment........
If he is going to add more troops, please God make him add more funding for the things they need. The way Obama is doing things this is insane to make cut backs to funding for our military.
Posted by Wild Thing at July 21, 2009 05:55 AM
Deja vu!!! Some of us have scene this movie before.
Restrict the mission (ROE's - LBJ), pacification (Hearts and Minds), cut the war costs(McNamara), micromanage(Westmoreland), shaft the troops(Ramsey Clark) and of course there's Old Faithful, the media working 24/7 for the enemy.
The troop build up should have been from the onset of both wars, beginning the day they had to extend those reserve troops.
This administration is the worst of them all in being surrounded by lackluster.
Posted by: Jack at July 21, 2009 09:25 AM
your right Jack, this is a re-run, I wonder how many weapons systems will be cancelled along with the DOD cuts.
Posted by: Mark at July 21, 2009 12:28 PM
These troops are slated for the big buildup in Afghanistan. Most will be infantry.
They will not replace any troops. They will be additions. There is no reason why troops should have to deploy five or six times. The military forces should have been increased beginning 9/12/01. There are over 300 million Americans. We can have more than 40 or 50 thousand at the tip of the spear.
When you see the citizenship ceremonies for large numbers of our deployed troops you realize that the armed forces are absorbing large numbers of aliens. Where are our citizens? What's wrong with our young people? I see hundreds a week who are not/have not served. The same ones go back overseas over and over. I realize it is a volunteer srvice, but very few proportionately are volunteering. The Army has had to let older veterans come back in.
Hell, America is lost. Only a percent of our young people volunteer to defend it. More try to attend the Micheal Jackson funeral.
Posted by: TomR at July 21, 2009 01:36 PM
I'm sorry. I LOVE our troops. I do. Really. But I want ALL of them to stand up and say, "Are my orders from someone who is authorized and legal to give them?" We have an illegal usurper "long-legged Mack daddy ..." issuing them? No. No way. Enough is enough. No more Men/Women in harm's way until we see a birth certificate and the rest of his documentation. Until then? I'm with Dr. Manning!!!
Posted by: BT in SA at July 21, 2009 01:46 PM
My feeling is that anyone who joins the military while Blowbama is squatting @ 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is totally nuts.
Posted by: cuchieddie/DHS Suspected Terrorist at July 21, 2009 05:38 PM
Didn't I say Deja Vu? Here's the lizard dick that just put the screws to the troops in the field.
Posted by: Jack at July 21, 2009 06:04 PM
Jack, I agree, Obama wants his taliban
to win. I can feel it. DAMN Obama!!!!!
Posted by: Wild Thing at July 21, 2009 08:40 PM
Mark, if Obama could get away with it he
probably would send all the vests and other
things to the Taliban to fight our troops.
Posted by: Wild Thing at July 21, 2009 08:42 PM
Tom, all you said thank you.
And this is soooo true.
"Hell, America is lost. Only a percent of our young people volunteer to defend it. More try to attend the Micheal Jackson funeral."
Posted by: Wild Thing at July 21, 2009 08:46 PM
BT in SA, Manning is really good. He has
really spoken out about Obama and every
bit of it is the truth.
Gosh BT, that would be sooooo awesome.
Just imagining what they would be like
to see every one, in every branch saying
no way, not until the birth certificate.
Millions of military, all over the world,
in every country they are in. WOW.
They can't punish all of our troops and
every person in our military it would be
a total shock to all the memo pushers.
Obama would be forced to do it, he would
be kicked out too for sure.
Our troops would as always be the heroes.
I love thinking about that. And our military
and our Veterans too deserve more then anyone
to have a person that respects our
Constitution as CIC and president.
Posted by: Wild Thing at July 21, 2009 08:53 PM