"While the surge of 21,500 additional troops to Iraq is consuming national headlines, another important debate is being marginalized. With little public attention, Congress recently authorized an increase of 92,000 uniformed personnel for the Army and Marines. Although significant operationally, the Iraq augmentation is temporary; the larger increase will be permanent, with long-term strategic implications for national security capabilities. Without a thoughtful debate on how to structure the permanent plus-up, the additional 92,000 Soldiers and Marines may have only limited utility. The apparent basis for the increase is reduction of the high operational tempo the Army and Marines are enduring. High tempo, though, is not the cause of the current problems in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reducing the tempo is important, but it is more important to address the deficiencies that led to today's challenges in Iraq and to obtain the capabilities required to avoid similar problems in the future."
Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute
Martin, John R. (John Robert), 1952-; Rudd, Gordon