Zwei Jahre Irak-Krieg: US-Militär am Limit
--- Vor zwei Jahren startete Bush den Irak-Krieg mit einem Raketenangriff auf Saddam Hussein, der diesen aber verfehlte. Gut 1500 gefallene US-Soldaten weiter sind immer noch 150.000 GIs im Zweistromland stationiert, um die nicht nachlassenden Aufstände halbwegs unter Kontrolle zu halten. Die Washington Post sieht das US-Militär mit dem Irak- und Afghanistan-Krieg allgemein an ihre eigenen Grenzen gebracht.: The unexpectedly heavy demands of sustained ground combat are depleting military manpower and gear faster than they can be fully replenished. Shortfalls in recruiting and backlogs in needed equipment are taking a toll, and growing numbers of units have been broken apart or taxed by repeated deployments, particularly in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. "What keeps me awake at night is, what will this all-volunteer force look like in 2007?" Gen. Richard A. Cody, Army vice chief of staff, said at a Senate hearing this week. The Iraq war has also led to a drop in the overall readiness of U.S. ground forces to handle threats at home and abroad, forcing the Pentagon to accept new risks -- even as military planners prepare for a global anti-terrorism campaign that administration officials say could last for a generation. Stretched by Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States lacks a sufficiently robust ability to put large numbers of "boots on the ground" in case of a major emergency elsewhere, such as the Korean Peninsula, in the view of some Republican and Democratic lawmakers and some military leaders. They are skeptical of the Pentagon's ability to substitute air and naval power, and they believe strongly that what the country needs is a bigger Army. "The U.S. military will respond if there are vital threats, but will it respond with as many forces as it needs, with equipment that is in excellent condition? The answer is no," said Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.). To be sure, the military has also benefited from two years of war-zone rotations, and from a historical perspective it is holding up better than many analysts expected. U.S. troops are the most combat-hardened the nation has had for decades, and reenlistment levels have generally remained high. The war has also spurred technological innovation while providing momentum for a reorganization of a military that in many ways is still designed for the Cold War.
Bush selbst blickt zwangsweise rosig in die Zukunft und feiert tapfer weiter den Sieg der Freiheit sowie der Demokratie: Today we're seeing hopeful signs across the broader Middle East. The victory of freedom in Iraq is strengthening a new ally in the war on terror, and inspiring democratic reformers from Beirut to Tehran. Und dann gleich noch eine Ansage, die sich eher bedrohlich anhört: The experience of recent years has taught us an important lesson: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. Because of our actions, freedom is taking root in Iraq, and the American people are more secure.