View Full Version : Pentagon allows Army to temporarily beef up ranks

30 Jan 04,, 01:52
Pentagon allows Army to temporarily beef up ranks

By Dave Moniz
USA Today

The Army’s top general said Wednesday that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, hoping to quiet critics in Congress, has given him the authority to temporarily increase the size of the Army by up to 30,000 troops until 2008.
Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army’s chief of staff, told the House Armed Services Committee that the temporary increase would ease strains caused by U.S.-led conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan but not require the billions of dollars that a permanent troop increase would cost.

The move could help Rumsfeld deflect mounting pressure from Congress to permanently increase the size of the military, primarily the Army.

Rumsfeld has dismissed calls from lawmakers to boost the 1.2-million-member armed forces. He says it would be too expensive and the need for more troops could go away in the three to five years it would take to recruit new soldiers.

“The worst thing would be a forced end-strength increase,” Schoomaker said, using the Pentagon term for the size of the active-duty military.

Schoomaker said the Army has 500,000 soldiers in uniform, already nearly 20,000 more than Congress has authorized. The surplus is largely a result of a Pentagon policy known as “stop loss,” which prevents troops from leaving the service during wartime.

House Democrats introduced legislation last month to increase the Army by 40,000 troops, the Air Force by 28,000 and the Marines by 15,000.

Schoomaker acknowledged that the Army is under a severe strain because of the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he said the problem is temporary.

Michael O’Hanlon, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, said that by agreeing to temporary increases, Rumsfeld has “partially conceded the point” that the military is too small.

One Army official with knowledge of the plan said it is a compromise by the Bush administration intended to address Congress’ concerns by adding troops in the short term without making a commitment to a long-term buildup.

Schoomaker also discussed likely changes that would free more Army troops for combat. They include trimming some headquarters around the country, reorganizing Army units to make them more efficient and transferring troops to new assignments less frequently to stabilize the force.

Because the active-duty Army is stretched, the Defense Department is relying more on the Army National Guard and Army Reserve.

There are about 165,000 Army Guard and Army Reserve troops on active duty in the USA and overseas. By this spring, nearly 40 percent of U.S. forces in Iraq will be such part-time troops.


30 Jan 04,, 22:58
thats good news, hopefully no amored units, we just need more infantry

31 Jan 04,, 00:36
Originally posted by Ironman
Michael O’Hanlon, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, said that by agreeing to temporary increases, Rumsfeld has “partially conceded the point” that the military is too small.
In wartime the military is allways too small, in peacetime it's too large.

31 Jan 04,, 01:07
Meanwhile the USN is booting out sailors left and right.

Go figure...

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 04,, 06:07
I like more manpower than this idea

From Jamie McIntyre
CNN Washington Bureau
Friday, January 23, 2004 Posted: 7:42 PM EST (0042 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker is suggesting a reorganization of the Army, replacing its structure of 10 active-duty divisions with 46 smaller, but more capable, brigades, Pentagon sources told CNN on Friday.
Despite congressional calls to add two divisions to the Army, Schoomaker is not asking for any more troops, Pentagon officials said.

"Schoomaker does not want an increase the Army's end strength," said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Instead he wants to find a way to use the current force more efficiently."

Schoomaker was scheduled to meet late Friday to discuss the reorganization plans with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who also is on record as opposing any increase in the overall size of the military.

Under the concept Schoomaker advocates, current Army divisions, which consist of three brigades, would be split into four or five small brigades, each capable of being deployed independently.

Already, sources say, the 3rd Infantry Division is being reorganized into five smaller brigades to serve as a prototype for the rest of the force.

The idea, said one official, is to have self-sustaining "modular" fighting units that will streamline the need for combat support, and eliminate some headquarters staff and other overhead.

Also Friday, the Defense Department announced that it would send a budget request of $401.7 billion to Congress for the 2005 fiscal year, a 7 percent increase over fiscal 2004 funding levels.

The budget request "supports continued transformation" of U.S. military forces, the Pentagon said.

"This budget builds upon past work to provide for a ready force made up of the talents and skills needed in our new national security environment," Rumsfeld said in a statement.

03 Feb 04,, 06:10
what else do you expect from a Rumsfield stooge?

To anyone who don't know, I do not like Rumsfield regardng the way he handled the Shineski affair.

In my professional opinion, he is the Republican version of Robert McNamara.

03 Feb 04,, 08:05
No harm in BEEFING up. Its CHICKEN that one should avoid. Remember the Brid flu is spreading!:lol

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 04,, 21:21
Yeah, Sir, but then you have Mad Cow running around.