Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hillary's Solution

In the never-ending quest to recast herself as a political moderate, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has proposed increasing the size of the Army by 80,000 troops.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (one of the few Democrats who genuinely understands defense issues) is co-sponsoring the bill, dubbed the United States Army Relief Act. With on-going combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan--and the Army facing recruiting shortages in recent months--the bill is expected to attract some bi-partisan support.

But if you read a published account of the Clinton proposal, you'll find that an important question remains unanswered, namely why is the Army so short of soldiers? Must be the Rumsfeld transformation effort, right? Or the Bush Administration underfundng the Army.

Actually, the Army's current shortage of troops dates back to the mid-1990s, when the Clinton Administration eliminated four active duty Army divisions, well beyond troop reductions proposed by the Pentagon. Collectively, those divisions accounted for roughly 80,000 combat and support troops--the same number that would be added under the Clinton measure.

In other words, Senator Clinton's bill aims to correct the mistake made by her husband a decade ago. But you'll never hear that from the MSM.

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