Saturday, February 17, 2007

Gary Hart 
I have a very high regard for former Senator Gary Hart and his grasp of the structure of our Army and its relationship to our Republic. His excellent book, The Minutemen, ought to be required reading for all ROTC and USMA cadets.

So I was disappointed in his essay in the Huffington Post today, in which Hart calls for Congressional legislation mandating the forced withdrawal of National Guard troops from Iraq.

Gary Hart is an excellent Army historian. He knows full well the practical difficulties faced, for example, by George Washington, as a result in the meddling in Army affairs by the Continental Congress, and the very real force management difficulties encountered by the General officers working for Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War - particularly in the Confederate Army, as even state legislatures got into the act of micromanaging how militia forces could be used in the services of the short-lived CSA.

With the benefit of hindsight, no one is looking back at this political meddling as a good idea. Indeed, in each case, the political micromanagement of Army affairs by Congressmen far removed from the day-to-day realities of command was nearly disastrous - especially in Washington's case.

How quickly do memories fade, however, when politicians smell a chance to backstab American commanders by yanking vital reserve-component forces from warriors even as they are engaging the enemy on the field of battle.

Gary Hart, of all people - himself a retired officer in the Naval Reserve - cannot plead ignorance. He is well acquainted with the Abrams Doctrine, in which the Pentagon deliberately structured the Army so that it could not sustain combat operations much beyond brigade-level without the commitment of reserve troops in significant numbers. He knows the One Army concept, which calls for active and reserve forces to be deployed together as part of a combined arms and CS/CSS team.

Hart KNOWS FULL WELL that the absence of Guardsmen and reservists would cripple the Army in the midst of battle - this is precisely why he is calling for it!

The battle is joined. Gary Hart is a commissioned officer. He should be looking for ways to win it, not throw it for political points.

If he thinks he can win it without Reserve forces, then let us see his troop rotation and augmentation plan.

Come on, Senator - it was your idea.

If you have no regard for victory, then let us know now - and in terms less callow than those you have adopted. Don't hide behind the mealy-mouthed platitudes of caring for the troops.

You cannot care for troops while simultaneously advocating defeat.

Splash, out


No regard for Victory? How about having some regard for history?

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