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Barone’s Better Perspective and Webb’s Warning

Monday, October 31, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From Michael Barone’s “bottoming out” column:

Last week’s four events turned some things around. Now Bush and his people must act.

And from an interview with Jazmes Webb, in which he repeats his criticism of the Iraq invasion:

How would you assess the overall adequacy of the U.S. military today?

I think it’s thin. It’s thin; the Navy, the Army and the Marine Corps. I wouldn’t have a strong comment about the Air Force. The worry that I have (is) with the Navy. How these issues are debated depends on what the national security crisis of the moment is. Five or six years ago people were trying to say that the Army was too large. But what you’re seeing right now with the Navy in my view is it needs some better advocates to really argue about the strategic issues, which is where the Navy is the strongest.

The whole case for sea power.

Exactly. Force projection without having to negotiate basing rights. These sorts of things. The aircraft carrier concept is under attack again and yet every nation that becomes a major power tries to in some way replicate what we’ve been able to do. And it’s a pretty dangerous thing to start undoing that. So the Navy needs better advocates.

What about the Army and the Marine Corps?

When (former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric) Shinseki was talking about a 10 division Army doing a 12 division job, he was right. Even before the Iraq situation. I was a proponent of downsizing the Army and the tactical Air Force, but I think particularly in the Army’s case they went too far. The Marine Corps, I think the Marine Corps has done very well in terms of its force-structure size. The question is how it’s being used. When you’re having these guys do two or three tours over there in Iraq and the Marine Corps taking the higher casualty rates and being out where they are, that’s a question of national policy rather than force.

HT: RealClearPolitics

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