Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mark Udall's Defense Fig Leaf

Two years ago, Mark Udall, along with several other prominent Democrats, announced with fanfare the introduction of a bill to increase the size of the army by 20,000 a year for four years.

It was a great idea that went nowhere. Udall's failure to introduce a similar bill in 2007, when the Democrats hold a majority and the need for additional troops for the surge is obvious, simply demonstrates his and his party's lack of seriousness on National Defense.

Unfortunately, Mark Udall has joined his party's efforts to sabotage the war. The 2005 bill was a fig leaf that was designed to conceal his contempt for those who serve. Nothing more.

Udall can't even be trusted to know the history of American post war demobilizations.

Since 1945, the size of the active duty Army has dropped in times of peace and spiked during wartime. At the end of the Cold War, the Army shrank as part of the “peace dividend”.

It demobilized to a strength of 86 officers and men after the Revolutionary War, shrank after 1812, shrank after the war with Mexico in 1846, shrank big time after the Civil War, reorganized in 1890 and closed hundreds of Army posts after the Indian Wars (including several in and near Colorado), expanded and contracted for the 1898 war with Spain, and shrank significantly after WWI.

Udall's grasp of our country's history is sorely lacking if he thinks that the adjustments in the size of the army after a conflict are anything but routine.

The size of the Army has proven inadequate to fight the Iraqi War, but you can bet that if Mark Udall gets elected, he will try to extract a "peace dividend" immediately following the precipitous withdrawal he, and his party, so desperately want.