Friday, July 18, 2003

Year-long deployments, a norm during the Vietnam War, have been rare in recent years. The 1st Armored Division served in Bosnia for a year during the 1990s, Abizaid said.

''So we've done it before, and we can do it again,'' he said.

In Viet Nam the Army could rely on the draft to refill the ranks of those who exited the army and never looked back after being deployed for a year. (Thanks to Iowa Purchasing Agent Girl for that reminder)

In Bosnia we weren't talking about half the combat power of the active Army. Bosnia is inside the European Command (EUCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR). And the Army decided that EUCOM would deal with that with indigenous forces, maintaining the global distribution of forces in pretty much a status quo.

Iraq on the other hand, has redistributed the combat power of the US Army in ways that seriously expose our flanks. Do we want that for an entire year?

And finally, the "we've done it before, and we can do it again" argument is fallacious.

Imagine if the Florida legislature said with regard to butterfly punch-card ballots, "we've used 'em before and we can use 'em again."

Sure we can. But isn't the question "should we?"

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