The internet is a wonderful thing. We should all thank Al Gore for inventing it. This morning I found a RAND corporation report that taught me at least two really interesting things. First, according to the report, 75% of the U.S. troops deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait have been soldiers. The Army makes up half of America’s military, so I would expect the ratio to be closer to 50%. But these are predominately ground wars, so it’s the Army and the Marines that carry the largest share of the burden.
Second, and more importantly, the Army is operating at full capacity. The report says, ” the active-duty Army is almost completely (about 94 percent) utilized and therefore retains very little unutilized capacity to deploy additional active-duty soldiers.” Apparently, 94% is considered to be full employment by economists, so the RAND gurus accepted this figure as full employment of the force. Of the remaining six percent, most are in initial entry training, many are wounded and in Warrior Transition Units, the rest seem to be at West Point. So the Army can’t do more unless it deploys the Corps of Cadets. We note that while there is historical precedent for this, we do not support it.