Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
May 27, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

Rising Star

Truthdig Bazaar
Risk, Ambiguity and Decision

Risk, Ambiguity and Decision

By Daniel Ellsberg

more items

Ear to the Ground
Email this item Print this item

Top General Wants Bigger Army

Posted on Dec 14, 2006
DoD Photo / R.D. Ward

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker briefs reporters in Arlington, Va., early this year.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker has testified that his force “will break” without an increase in troops and greater ability to draw on Army National Guard and Reserve units.  The general cited the strain of commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he told reporters: “We would not surge [in Iraq] without a purpose. And that purpose should be measurable.”

AP via Yahoo!:

As part of the effort to relieve the strain on the force, the Army is developing plans to accelerate the creation of two new combat brigades, The Associated Press has learned.

According to defense officials, the plan may require shifting equipment and personnel from other military units so the two new brigades could be formed next year and be ready to be sent the war zone in 2008. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans are not final.

Noting the strain put on the force by operations in Iraq,
Afghanistan and elsewhere, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker said he wants to increase his half-million-member Army beyond the 30,000 troops already authorized in recent years.

Though he didn’t give an exact number, he said it would take significant time, saying 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers could be added per year. Schoomaker has said it costs roughly $1.2 billion to increase the Army by 10,000 soldiers.

Officials also need greater authority to tap into the National Guard and Reserve, long ago set up as a strategic reserve but now needed as an integral part of the nation’s deployed forces, Schoomaker told a commission studying possible changes in those two forces.

Read more

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments

By Tim, December 17, 2006 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How do you propose to up troop levels to 750,000 without a draft?  When you have the Simpsons TV show portraying the duplicity of military recruiters, kids aren’t going to sign up if they know they’ll be in Baghdad in six months.  Of course, the problem with the draft is campus unrest.

Report this

By MARIAM RUSSELL, December 16, 2006 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Middle East expert and scholar Gilbert Achcar states in his new book Perilous Power, co-authored with Noam Chomsky, that the longer US forces remain in the region, the worse things will get, no matter what role they adopt that’s just cover for the US to maintain tight control.  Achcar says the Bush administration since March, 2003 has been “stupid” and “will go down in history….as the undertaker of US interests in the region.”  It doesn’t get any clearer, stronger, or more on the mark than that, and it goes to the heart of the problem the ISG was formed to deal with - maintaining US control over Middle East oil now in jeopardy and getting the US public to go along.

If the US occupation of Iraq ever ends without a reliable client state government in place, it will create the possibility of Washington’s worst nightmare - a majority Shiite ruled Iraq allied with Shiite Iran that might link with the Saudi Shias located in the bordering oil-rich part of the kingdom.  If that Tripartite Shia Middle East alliance forms, it will control most of the world’s oil supply.  It might then choose to align with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) formed to compete with the US for control of Central Asia’s huge energy reserves and whose core members are China and Russia giving those countries a chance for a leg up on the US at least for access to Middle East oil.  The ISG and Bush administration will do all in its power to prevent this from happening, but the US has lost so much credibility in the region, they face a daunting task and long odds for success.


The ISG report mentions none of this, but does stress the importance of Iraq’s oil by mentioning it 63 times and calling for the US to help Iraq privatize its state-owned oil industry, opening it up to Big Oil foreign exploitive investment and the profits from it.  If or when the US ends its occupation without leaving a reliable client state in place, it would be hard to imagine Iraq will quickly forgive and forget and be willing to conduct business as usual with oil or other corporations from the country that laid waste to it and only left in humiliation and defeat.

Report this

By republicanfreezone, December 16, 2006 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gee, I thought you were supposed to go to war with the army you have not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

(don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-arse-on-your-way-out-rummy ‘04)

Report this

By Frank, December 16, 2006 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MARIAM, you display an ignorant attitude towards current American generals. What you describe sounds like a stereotype based on watching too many Hollywood movies.  Todays commanding generals were combat veterans long before they ever become generals. They know the costs and horrors of war all too well and are far more likely to be reluctant warriors rather than hawks.

It is the top generals that advised AGAINST invading Iraq, along with retired General Colin Powell. When Bush insisted on invasion anyway,  is was the Generals that advised they needed more troops than what Rumsfled was calling for to be able to stabilize the country during occupation, but Rumsfeld ignored them, and Bush listened to Rumsfeld.  The generals were right.

Military officers are not allowed to publically disagree with the President or criticize the Secretary of Defense. That is long standing policy. But behind the scenes the top generals have been the voice of reason all along, trying to inform the bureaucrats and politicians about the reality of the situation in Iraq.  If Bush and Rumsfeld had LISTENED to the generals, we likely would not still be stuck in that quagmire.

The bodies in Iraq are not piling up due to American troops being there. They are piling up because of 1300 year old tribal hatreds, IN SPITE of American troops being there.

Be careful what you wish for. If you think cutting funding or pulling out US forces immediately will stop the bodies piling up, you are woefully naive.  Without the US forces there, we will see bloody civil war for years, maybe decades, with deaths in the millions, as two factions of Islam slaughter each other in the name of Allah.

If we want to be able to withdraw from Iraq in the near future while leaving it in the hands of the elected government rather than divided into pieces among Islamic factions, we are going to need MORE troops in the short term. The US must be able to secure the cities while the Iraqi police and military can get trained to do it on their own. Then maybe we can pull out without leaving chaos and a lifetime of civil war behind.

Report this

By mite, December 15, 2006 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Semper-Fi Eric and a holiday hello to your loved ones and self.(2ndRecon)`patty-dog’

I guess to man the 14 bases and worlds largest embassy in the middle east you will need more troops.

Search Google `War Is A Racket’ and The War Prayer

Well they increased the enlistment age (41) are taking gang members and next their start using the 2 million inmates like WWII and Nam.

The General will get his troops: all these Elites of weapon sales and oil need is another 911 and we will say “Kill-em All Let God Sort-em Out” because we refuse to accept truth.

If you spend some time researching the 911 web sites the truth will surface. Look how our Congress passed the `Patriot Acts 1-2, Military Commissions Act 2006, and The North American Union

I say we are in WWIII WWIV by 2008.

Report this

By DennisD, December 15, 2006 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think the General doesn’t understand the difference between having an army and an international police force.
Another Washington deep thinker. When you don’t have enough of something just get more. The bill for all the new soldiers and toys is just going on the American Eagle National Debt Credit Card anyway. No need to raise taxes or anything obscene like that - it might open some people’s eyes. For some reason, payment never comes due for the fools that run up the bill - either in blood or money.
Nothing covers up INCOMPETENCE in D.C. like a BLANK CHECK.

Report this

By HeadlessHessian, December 15, 2006 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folks…the problem is not the general. He has been programmed to do one job.  And c’mon its not to kill his own soldiers.  He has been programmed to win a war.  All this guy is saying is that ‘This administration has fucked up royally’ and therefore he will not have an army when the time comes.  Yuou do have to read between the lines of what generals say..put yourself in their shoes.  Sent to Iraq with not enough troops, not enough armour…and so on…Be nice to him..he is just a victim of this administrations total incompetance, just like we are


Report this

By Kathlyn Lew, December 15, 2006 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This sounds to me like a recipe for a military coup d’etat against the people of the United States providing he succeeds in fooling the new Congress.

Report this

By chuck, December 15, 2006 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The General is taking the easy way out—throw more troops on “the fire” rather than examine what we are doing in Iraq. We will never win this war because you can’t force democracy at an Islamic country. I’ll bet a great majority of Iraqis wants us out of there! Let them battle it out.

Report this

By Quy Tran, December 15, 2006 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stars of all generals were cleaned with their soldiers bloods. Most of them use their soldiers as a flesh ladder to move up to top notch.

Report this

By LibertyWatch, December 15, 2006 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well let’s take a different perspective General Schoomaker, we can reduce the troop mission and occupation of nations around the world. Redeploy and re-equipment forces at all levels right down to that National Guard unit and then leave the “National Guard” in America to serve the population in times of need ie Katrina or other Governor needs. Meanwhile, we can stop the war machines corporate welfare program for weapons manufacturers, Terminate all civilian contracts for war profits, while initiating a civilian oversight on all military operations.

Immediate stopping of all so called force defense activities against the US citizenry and within the borders of the USA. Leave the Quakers alone please!

Lastly reduce the Generals golf courses around the world and stand down in countries that are allied. Let NATO do NATO work etc.

Report this

By MARIAM RUSSELL, December 15, 2006 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course he wants a bigger army, more destructive toys, more wars to display both in.


That is what they do.

He is supposed to be in a kennel with a muzzle till someone needs killing on a big scale. That he is testifing to our congress clowns says that their taste for blood has not been satisfied, and that the bodies will continue to pile up unless someone has the simple decency to cut the funding for this mass carnage. I personally think we are at our body quota for the forseeable future…..don´t you?

Report this

By Eric McBain, December 15, 2006 at 5:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a former grunt all I can say is, isn’t this so like a General? You have to take a hill from the enemy just send in more meat to the machine. Perhaps J. Robert Oppenheimer had the best reponse the militaries manpower does it all approach. General Groves who oversaw the Manhatten Project (and who had very little understanding of the physics involved) was concerned that the project wasn’t going according to schedule (like you can schedule results in scientific research) and told Oppenheimer to just put more men on the project to speed it up. Oppenheimer responded by saying ” the General would believe that a women can have a baby more quickly if you added 9 more men to the job.”

Report this

By yours truly, December 14, 2006 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hold on there, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker with your plans, because the army’s going to be shrunk, not enlarged. That’s what TROOPS OUT NOW is about, ending the Iraq war for sure, but also demilitarizing our country.  That means fewer troops and fewer generals, to boot.  Don’t worry though, because us peacemakers won’t take away your military pensions and such. Unless, of course, you’ve committed war crimes.

Report this

By Rodney Matthews, December 14, 2006 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with the General we need more troops. Lets start with the Bush twins. How about Cheney’s lesbian daughter. How about the children of all of the people that voted for Bush. How about the children of all the the congressmen and senators that voted for the Iraq war. Last but not least, lets send Rumsfeld,Rice Powell,Wolfowitz,Feith,Pearl,Hannity,Limbaugh,  Liddy, and if all else fails, we’ll send Dick and his hunting rifle.

Report this

By rae2, December 14, 2006 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would just LOVE IT if all Americans of “cannon fodder” age suddenly got smart and decided that if the war-mongering Schoomakers of this world want to continue to fight a war, HOW ABOUT THEY GO AND DO IT THEMSELVES!

These moronic, ugly American generals make me sick. How long is it going to be before even ONE of them “gets it”... WAR IS FOR NEANDERTHAL-BRAINLESS IDIOTS and AMERICANS ARE GETTING DAMN SICK & TIRED OF PAYING THE SHOT SO THEY CAN PLAY!

If I were in charge, I’d SHRINK the armed forces by 10% PER YEAR until they were at only 10% of what they are now. Who needs an army of half-a-million when you’re not in someone else’s country fighting a war you not only don’t understand but can’t win? Yup… only IDIOTS!

And for those mini-minds who think Russia or China or Lapland would then just invade the poor old defenseless USA, I laugh in your face. There isn’t ONE American out of a population of 300+ million who would cooperate with any invading force. NO ONE IS GOING TO INVADE THE USA because NO ONE WOULD HAVE A CLUE WHAT TO DO WITH IT AFTER THEY GOT HERE… does that ring any bells with anyone… like maybe the situation the USA finds itself in in Iraq?

MIND YOUR OWN BLOODY BUSINESS, America. Either learn that lesson NOW or learn it later, after you’ve lost everything you’ve built up. Your choice.

Report this
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook