Important news, if accurate: “U.S. Army Isn’t Broken After All, Military Experts Say“, Fox News (19 March 2008). Of special note are the data they show in these nine charts.
Opening of the Fox News story
One year ago, as President Bush decided to send more troops to Iraq, the conventional wisdom in Washington among opponents of the war was that the U.S. Army was on the verge of breaking. In December 2006 former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell warned, “The active Army is about broken.”
Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, in a much-cited memo to West Point colleagues, wrote: “My bottom line is that the Army is unraveling, and if we don’t expend significant national energy to reverse that trend, sometime in the next two years we will break the Army just like we did during Vietnam.” Army Maj. Gen. Bob Scales, the former head of the Army War College, agreed. He wrote in an editorial in the Washington Times on March 30:
“If you haven’t heard the news, I’m afraid your Army is broken, a victim of too many missions for too few soldiers for too long. … Today, anecdotal evidence of collapse is all around.”
But now, one year later, Scales has done an about-face. He says that he was wrong. Despite all the predictions of imminent collapse, the U.S. Army and the combat brigades have proven to be surprisingly resilient.
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For more on this, including several Army studies, see An Army near the Breaking Point — an archive of links.