National Guard February 2012 : Page 48

LAST WORD Affordable Strength By Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig D “You go to war with the Army you have.” EFENSE SECRETARY DONALD Rumsfeld offered this statement in 2004 to soldiers preparing to move from Kuwait to Iraq without adequate armored ve-hicles or crew-served weapons. The failure to perceive the future threat of hybrid con-flict when he took office in 2001 placed our troops in great danger, costing us both lives and dollars. We still live in a dangerous world. Several terrorist orga-nizations and nation states have clearly stated their inten-tions of destroying our country and our way of life. These threats are real. At the same time, the national debt is driving the debate about our level of defense resourcing. The Army must be affordable yet scalable to success-fully deal with unforeseen contingencies. Adequate military forces are an absolute necessity for national survival. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Army chief of staff, shared his thoughts on the matter in a December blog post: “First, our Army must prevent conflict. Prevention requires a credible force with suf-ficient capacity, readiness, and modernization. “Second, our Army must help shape the international environment so our friends are enabled and our enemies contained. We do that by engaging our partners, fostering mutual understanding through military to military contacts. … It is cultivating friends before you need them. “Finally, we must be ready to win deci-sively and dominantly. If we do not, we pay the price in American lives.” Although these goals could be accomplished by a large-standing Army of 700,000 active-component troops, that level is clearly unaffordable. The president has directed the Defense Department to reduce spending by $480 billion over the next 10 years, driving a planned strength reduction from 570,000 active-component soldiers to 520,000 or fewer. This will force a reduction in both brigade combat teams and enabling forces, exposing the nation to con-siderable security risk. We will be building a smaller, less capable force and ignoring the persistent threat. The solution to this dilemma is clear: Move all 50,000 soldiers sliced from the force into the Army National Guard. Use those troops to build eight more BCTs and other specialized enablers, such as engineers, military The Army must be affordable yet scalable to successfully deal with unforeseen contingencies. The solution to this dilemma is clear. police and transportation. This will return the Army Guard to its 2006 level of 36 BCTs and position the Guard to provide up to seven BCTs for any contingency every year of the five-year Army Force Generation rotation model. Some in Congress understand. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus, said in an article in this magazine last month that it’s time for the nation to depend more on the Guard and Reserve. “The size of the active component will contract under the weight of current budgeting realities and to reflect the Framer’s constitutional vision of a small standing army augmented by a larger cadre of citizen soldiers,” they wrote. “Simultaneously, the Guard and Reserve must grow so that those cuts to the active force can be quickly and easily reversed if circumstances demand it.” The Guard is a perfect fit for this crisis. For one thing, our State Partnership Pro-gram, which works with 63 countries in six combatant commands to help create military capability from the ground up, is doing exactly what the chief of staff suggests— “cultivating friends before you need them.” We all are aware of the Guard’s cost ef-fectiveness. The Guard took only 10 percent of the Army’s base budget last year. Our part-time status lowers our personnel costs. Our retirements start later and our medical costs are largely borne by civilian employers. Plus, we require no sprawling military community. Increasing the size and manning level of the Guard also would offer our governors more capable forces when dealing with natural or man-made disasters. We are forward deployed and contain a wide variety of civilian skills. The National Guard has had historic success in re-cruitment and retention during the war on terrorism. Its innovative recruiting programs, along with an adequate recruiting force and well-targeted marketing, can sustain increased growth for a modest cost. We are at a critical juncture in the history of the Guard and the nation. We must heed the words of George Wash-ington who said, “[T]o be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” Expansion of the Army Guard is a highly cost-effective way to accomplish this goal. The author is the Pennsylvania adjutant general. 48 | Na tional Guard

Last Word

Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig

“You go to war with the Army you have.”<br /> <br /> DEFENSE SECRETARY DONALD Rumsfeld offered this statement in 2004 to soldiers preparing to move from Kuwait to Iraq without adequate armored vehicles or crew-served weapons.<br /> <br /> The failure to perceive the future threat of hybrid conflict when he took office in 2001 placed our troops in great danger, costing us both lives and dollars.<br /> <br /> We still live in a dangerous world. Several terrorist organizations and nation states have clearly stated their intentions of destroying our country and our way of life.<br /> <br /> These threats are real. At the same time, the national debt is driving the debate about our level of defense resourcing.<br /> <br /> The Army must be affordable yet scalable to successfully deal with unforeseen contingencies. Adequate military forces are an absolute necessity for national survival.<br /> <br /> Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Army chief of staff, shared his thoughts on the matter in a December blog post:<br /> <br /> “First, our Army must prevent conflict.Prevention requires a credible force with sufficient capacity, readiness, and modernization.<br /> <br /> “Second, our Army must help shape the international environment so our friends are enabled and our enemies contained. We do that by engaging our partners, fostering mutual understanding through military to military contacts. … It is cultivating friends before you need them.<br /> <br /> “Finally, we must be ready to win decisively and dominantly. If we do not, we pay the price in American lives.”<br /> <br /> Although these goals could be accomplished by a largestanding Army of 700,000 active-component troops, that level is clearly unaffordable.<br /> <br /> The president has directed the Defense Department to reduce spending by $480 billion over the next 10 years, driving a planned strength reduction from 570,000 activecomponent soldiers to 520,000 or fewer.<br /> <br /> This will force a reduction in both brigade combat teams and enabling forces, exposing the nation to considerable security risk. We will be building a smaller, less capable force and ignoring the persistent threat.<br /> <br /> The solution to this dilemma is clear: Move all 50,000 soldiers sliced from the force into the Army National Guard. Use those troops to build eight more BCTs and other specialized enablers, such as engineers, military police and transportation.<br /> <br /> This will return the Army Guard to its 2006 level of 36 BCTs and position the Guard to provide up to seven BCTs for any contingency every year of the five-year Army Force Generation rotation model.<br /> <br /> Some in Congress understand. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus, said in an article in this magazine last month that it’s time for the nation to depend more on the Guard and Reserve.<br /> <br /> “The size of the active component will contract under the weight of current budgeting realities and to reflect the Framer’s constitutional vision of a small standing army augmented by a larger cadre of citizen soldiers,” they wrote.“Simultaneously, the Guard and Reserve must grow so that those cuts to the active force can be quickly and easily reversed if circumstances demand it.”<br /> <br /> The Guard is a perfect fit for this crisis.For one thing, our State Partnership Program, which works with 63 countries in six combatant commands to help create military capability from the ground up, is doing exactly what the chief of staff suggests— “cultivating friends before you need them.” <br /> <br /> We all are aware of the Guard’s cost effectiveness.The Guard took only 10 percent of the Army’s base budget last year. Our parttime status lowers our personnel costs. Our retirements start later and our medical costs are largely borne by civilian employers.Plus, we require no sprawling military community.<br /> <br /> Increasing the size and manning level of the Guard also would offer our governors more capable forces when dealing with natural or manmade disasters. We are forward deployed and contain a wide variety of civilian skills.<br /> <br /> The National Guard has had historic success in recruitment and retention during the war on terrorism. Its innovative recruiting programs, along with an adequate recruiting force and well-targeted marketing, can sustain increased growth for a modest cost.<br /> <br /> We are at a critical juncture in the history of the Guard and the nation. We must heed the words of George Washington who said, “[T]o be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” <br /> <br /> Expansion of the Army Guard is a highly cost-effective way to accomplish this goal.<br /> <br /> The author is the Pennsylvania adjutant general.

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