Army stress

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle re­cently told de­fense re­porters that mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in the war against Is­lamist ex­trem­ism are caus­ing prob­lems for the Army.

Gen. Rochelle, deputy chief of staff for per­son­nel, said last month at a break­fast meet­ing that “this is chal­leng­ing and [. . .] our Army is clearly stressed right now.” The “de­mands ex­ceed the avail­able as­sets, time, peo­ple and, to a lesser de­gree, re­sources.”

Congress is pro­vid­ing great sup­port for both re­sources and au­thor­i­ties that will al­low the Army to vary its prac­tices to meet chang­ing de­mands and re­al­i­ties, he said. For lib­er­als in the press and Congress, the blame for the Army stress is the costly wars in Afghanistan and es­pe­cially Iraq.

But con­ser­va­tives in the Pen­tagon and other se­cu­rity agen­cies of the U.S. gov­ern­ment say most of the blame for the Army’s prob­lems to­day have their roots in the sharp cuts in fund­ing and forces dur­ing the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion, plus ex­tended peace­keep­ing de­ploy­ments, which led to a “hol­low­ing out” of Army forces. The prospect of a sec­ond Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion has de­fense of­fi­cials brac­ing for even more cuts and lit­tle chance for a much-needed re-equip­ping of the forces.

Bill Gertz cov­ers the Pen­tagon. He can be reached at 202/636-3274 or at bgertz@wash­ing­ton­

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