Army's New Chief Led Iraq Strategy




 
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Army's New Chief Led Iraq Strategy
 
April 11th, 2007  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Army's New Chief Led Iraq Strategy


Army's New Chief Led Iraq Strategy
Miami Herald
April 11, 2007
The U.S. Army, amid worries that the force is 'broken,' installed as chief of staff the general who was in charge of Iraq for 2 years.
By Nancy A. Youssef
Amid growing worries at home about a ''broken Army'' and signs in Baghdad that the insurgents are intensifying attacks on U.S. troops, the Army installed its new leader Tuesday, former Iraq commander Gen. George Casey.
Casey, the Army's 36th chief of staff, will be the lead administrator of the military's largest branch, managing everything from recruiting to training to supporting the force at war. He replaces Gen. Peter Schoomaker, who came out of retirement in August 2003 to take the post.
Some military analysts and soldiers question whether Casey, who led what some congressional leaders deem a failed approach in Iraq, can now manage an army strained by that war.
As the Iraq war enters its fifth year and U.S. troops surge into Baghdad, the term ''broken Army'' has become part of the national debate.
Army units are being called back to duty less than a year following deployment. It used to be a two-year gap. In addition, some units are returning with less training than once required. Getting the proper equipment to troops returning to Iraq also has been challenging, particularly as the time between deployments gets shorter.
This week, the Defense Department announced that 13,000 National Guardsmen would be deployed in Iraq, marking the first time that reserve officers have done second tours there. Indeed, several active-duty Army brigades are returning to Iraq for the third time -- a strain on them, their families and the military's retention rate.
'He certainly isn't coming in with the `I won the war' strategy,'' said Jeffrey White, a military analyst for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
His successor in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, has adopted new tactics that center on counterinsurgency and retaking control of communities overrun by violence, a marked change from Casey, who called for turning over communities to Iraqi security forces as soon as possible and diminishing the U.S. role.
During his Senate confirmation hearing, Casey said he didn't believe the Army was broken, recollecting when he joined 36 years ago -- at the end of the Vietnam War.
''I saw a broken Army,'' Casey said during his Feb. 1 hearing. ``We didn't have money to train. We didn't have money to fix our vehicles. . . . .But from what I see in Iraq, senator, the Army is far from broken.''
But he acknowledged the war's strain on the reserves.
''We have to be smarter about . . . how we use them,'' Casey said.
 


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