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Only 10,000 Troops Left

Feel safer yet?

But at a time when Pentagon officials are saying the Army is stretched so thin that it may be forced to go back on its pledge to limit National Guard deployment overseas, the division’s situation is symptomatic of how the shortages are playing out on the ground.

The enormous strains on equipment and personnel, because of longer-than-expected deployments, have left active Army units with little combat power in reserve. The Second Brigade, for example, has only half of the roughly 3,500 soldiers it is supposed to have. The unit trains on computer simulators, meant to recreate the experience of firing a tank’s main gun or driving in a convoy under attack.

“It’s a good tool before you get the equipment you need,? Colonel James said. But a few years ago, he said, having a combat brigade in a mechanized infantry division at such a low state of readiness would have been “unheard of.?

Other than the 17 brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan, only two or three combat brigades in the entire Army — perhaps 7,000 to 10,000 troops — are fully trained and sufficiently equipped to respond quickly to crises, said a senior Army general.

Most other units of the active-duty Army, which is growing to 42 brigades, are resting or being refitted at their home bases. But even that cycle, which is supposed to take two years, is being compressed to a year or less because of the need to prepare units quickly to return to Iraq.

And to think WorstPresidentEver campaigned around the arguement that Clinton was undermining the army. Now if North Korea invades, we will have at most 10,000 troops to engage the enemy immediately while waiting a year for reinforcements. If the army survives past December it will truly be a Christmas miracle.