Katrina and an Overstretched Military: The Perfect Storm. . .


Sorry for being AWOL the last few days. I have been deep in conference-planning messiness and am only now able to surface.
In between calls, I have been following the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. The National Guard has been called out in New Orleans — and I would imagine in Mississippi and Alabama.
But do we have much of a National Guard left? It is these kinds of horrific disasters that the National Guard has been trained to respond to. But like our military, which is teetering on the edge of manpower collapse — so too is the National Guard system breaking down.
In the end, America may manage its domestic crises and flounder forward in Iraq. But can there be any doubt that our power adversaries in the world — be they potential peer competitors like China or other regional aspiring, wannabe-hegemons like Iran — don’t see America stretched to its limits right now.
This problem needs to be fixed — and progressives should be calling for a national security vision that squeezes out the Cold War inertia still built into our military structure and get our national security framework back in sustainable condition.
— Steve Clemons