Friday, May 11, 2007

When Your National Guard Is Sucked To Iraq and Other Non US Locals, States May Be Left With Their Pants Down

I was trying to articulate this point a few days ago, but the Governor of Kansas wasn't so eloquent an example to use as leverage into the argument. The fact that the W, Rove and Co are having deep trouble securing "volunteers" for their "war" in Iraq, they have been relying heavily on mercenaries (at great taxpayer expense) and the National Guard. Sure, that's the point of the National Guard, to be utilized and activated in times of war. However, this protracted engagement in Iraq is looking a lot less like a war and more like a policing endeavor, if you ask me. But I digress.

Really, the point here is that, as States have their National Guard unites sucked to parts in harms way, they are no longer readily available to deploy at home should the need arise. From a State standpoint, the Iraq war is drying up already scant and scarce resources. Should there be some kind of natural disaster (not unlike Katrina) or terrorist event on our soil, would they be able to respond well and as swiftly or will the State get caught with their pants down around their ankles. Not unlike a drug dealer running away from the cops, it's challenging to to hold onto one's sagging pants and make good time.

There were a couple of articles today that make the point better than the Kansas Governor's attempt after the devastating tornado that "reaped a whirlwind" on one of her fair communities.

Have a look at this slice:
As state forestry officials predict an unusually harsh fire season this summer, the California National Guard says equipment shortages could hinder the guard's response to a large-scale disaster.

A dearth of equipment such as trucks and radios -- caused in part by the war in Iraq -- has state military officials worried they would be slow in providing help in the event of a major fire, earthquake or terrorist attack.

The readiness of the Guard has been described as a national problem and has become a political liability for the Bush administration, which came under fire this week when the governor of Kansas complained that the National Guard response to a devastating tornado in her state was inadequate. National Guard readiness has become a growing concern as the Guard has taken on extra responsibilities caused by the Iraq war and the increased threat of terrorism.

In California, half of the equipment the National Guard needs is not in the state, either because it is deployed in Iraq or other parts of the world or because it hasn't been funded, according to Lt. Col. John Siepmann. While the Guard is in good shape to handle small-scale incidents, "our concern is a catastrophic event,'' he said.

"You would see a less effective response (to a major incident),'' he said.

And what about the affect it would have on those remaining on the home front:

"This thing is so crazy,'' said Christy Arellano. "Over there, you never know who's going to do what.''

Over there means Iraq, not an easy word to say for the families of departing soldiers. Arellano held her 16-month-old daughter in one arm and hugged her Iraq-bound husband, Carlos, with the other.

"Daddy's going to Iraq,'' Lt. Carlos Arellano, 29, told his daughter, Ayiana. "You don't get to go. Just Daddy.''

The three of them hugged. Eyes were dabbed all around.
Thank you very much Mr. Bush. Your war sucks.

1 comment:

Aaron A. said...

I thought the same thing during the St. Patricks day parade. Troops were actually marching in crutches.
Says a lot about the state of things.