Chimpy isburning through the regular Army with little regard to the consequences.
Strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments.
The question of how to sustain the high level of forces abroad became more acute this week as General John P. Abizaid, the senior American commander in the Middle East, said that the number of troops in Iraq, currently at more than 140,000, could not be expected to drop until next spring at the very earliest.
That disclosure comes amid many signs of mounting strain on active Army units. So many are deployed or only recently returned from combat duty that only two or three combat brigades — perhaps 7,000 to 10,000 troops — are fully ready to respond in case of unexpected crises, according to a senior Army general.
An internal Army document that was provided to The New York Times notes that the demand for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has greatly exceeded past projections that predicted earlier troop reductions. According to the document, the Army needs $66.1 billion to make up for all of its equipment shortfalls. Referring to the units that are to deploy next to Iraq and Afghanistan, or are in training, the document shows a large question mark to indicate their limited readiness.