A number of former high-ranking military officials have come forward, following the political disaster last week, to expose the poor planning and leadership of Rumsfeld.  The latest person to throw in their two cents is Arizona Senator John McCain (R).

The Bush administration is now up against a wall, trying to provide answers (adequate ones at that) to stinging questions from reporters. 

Latest on the list of the Administrations critics is John McCain.  During an interview with the Associated Press, he explicitly stated that he had absolutely “no confidence” in Rumsfeld’s leadership  (1).

McCain echoed remarks that many former military officials held:  we need to increase the size of our active duty forces. 

Keep in mind, however, that by increasing the size of the military, we are not necessarily committing significantly higher numbers of troops. General Montgomery Meigs described the reasons behind increase quite clearly on Meet the Press (2):

GEN. MEIGS: In the QDR process, the secretary of defense agreed with the Army argument, says you need five units rotating and keep one in the field all the time.  That was out of our Bosnia experience.  The 3rd Infantry Division is going back online after about 15 or 16 months home.  That is less than a 3:1 ratio, and 40 percent of those soldiers in that division were in the last tour in combat.

That is telling you that in order to maintain the types of commitments we have in this world today, the Army and the Marine Corps are just too small.  Now, if you can’t maintain the rotation of the type that Barry is talking about, even if it went down to two and a half divisions, clearly you have got a problem with force structure.  The reason the people in OSD don’t want to have a larger Army and Marine Corps, it comes right off the top of your budget out of your discretionary spending.  But that’s a price we’re going to have to pay if we’re going to have this kind of a foreign policy.

The price you pay for “this kind of a foreign policy.”  We are unable to maintain what the Army recognizes is an acceptable rotation schedule and consequently institute a growing stop loss policy that is becoming more and more widespread.

Recall the debates from the election cycle.  The president clearly stated that he would do anything it takes to stabilize Iraq.  This remark should not be taken lightly, or as a commitment and resolve.  Rather, an indication of the kind of policies that will be instituted and found acceptable by the administration.  This includes the stop loss policy, prisoner abuse (the President asked for the legal briefs from our new attorney general), thousands of dead American soldiers, and hundreds of billions of dollars.

Remember the Democrats?  Reduce human and economic impact to the United States, and get the job done by reaching out to allies.

Regarding the Administration’s mindset, McCain stated that “[He thought] what is not acceptable to the American people is an increasing flow of dead and wounded.””

The dead and wounded of the future may included citizens drafted into service if the issue of the size of the active duty force is not properly addressed.  Keep in mind: we are already over committed (the 3:1 ratio rather than 5:1). 

(1) McCain Has ‘No Confidence’ in Rumsfeld
(2) Meet the Press, Sunday Dec. 10, 2004