Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Daily Links, March 20, 2007

I can't believe anyone is still protesting this war either. It should have been over long ago, and its planners and supervisors turned over to the International Criminal Court for trial and punishment. The White House is simply impenetrable to reality....and soon our corrupt, incompetent, and anti-American leader will become the only world leader in modern history to lose three wars all at the same time when they strike Iran. Good-bye Taiwan, we hardly knew ya.....

I'm leading off with a WaPo article that the great blogger initechnology alerted me to, describing the desperate state of preparedness the Bush Administration has reduced our fine military to:

In earlier House testimony, Pace said the military, using the Navy, Air Force and reserves, could handle one of three major contingencies, involving North Korea or -- although he did not name them -- Iran or China. But, he said, "It will not be as precise as we would like, nor will it be on the timelines that we would prefer, because we would then, while engaged in one fight, have to reallocate resources and remobilize the Guard and reserves."

Pace said the unexpected demand for more troops in Iraq -- from the 10 brigades that commanders projected last year they would need by the end of 2006, to the 20 brigades scheduled to be there by June -- prompted him to recommend permanently adding 92,000 troops to the Army and Marine Corps, saying it would "make a large difference in our ability to be prepared for unforeseen contingencies."

Indeed, the recent increase of more than 32,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has pushed already severe readiness problems to what some officials and lawmakers consider a crisis point. Schoomaker said last week that sustaining the troop increase in Iraq beyond August would be "a challenge." The Marines' commandant, Gen. James T. Conway, expressed concern to defense reporters last week that it would bring the Marine Corps "right on the margin" of breaking the minimum time at home for Marines between combat tours. U.S. commanders in Iraq say they may need to keep troop levels elevated into early 2008.

The troop increase has also created an acute shortfall in the Army's equipment stored overseas -- known as "pre-positioned stock" -- which would be critical to outfit U.S. combat forces quickly should another conflict erupt, officials said.

The Army should have five full combat brigades' worth of such equipment: two stocks in Kuwait, one in South Korea, and two aboard ships in Guam and at the Diego Garcia base in the Indian Ocean. But the Army had to empty the afloat stocks to support the troop increase in Iraq, and the Kuwait stocks are being used as units to rotate in and out of the country. Only the South Korea stock is close to complete, according to military and government officials.

"Without the pre-positioned stocks, we would not have been able to meet the surge requirement," Schoomaker said. "It will take us two years to rebuild those stocks. That's part of my concern about our strategic depth."

"The status of our Army prepositioned stock . . . is bothersome," Cody said last week.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers who received classified briefings last week on the stocks and overall Army readiness voiced alarm. "I'm deeply concerned," said Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who last week asked the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office to investigate the stocks "as a matter of vital importance to national defense."

Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz (D-Texas), chairman of the committee's readiness panel, said: "I have seen the classified-only readiness reports. And based on those reports, I believe that we as a nation are at risk of major failure, should our Army be called to deploy to an emerging threat."

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), who attended the briefing, said, "We are at a crisis point across the board." And Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), said, "This nation has got to replenish and fix what is soon going to be broken."

Equipment is also lacking among Army units in the United States, the vast majority of which are rated "not ready" by the Army, based on measures of available gear, training and personnel, according to senior military officers and government officials. Active-duty Army combat brigades in the United States face shortages of heavy, medium and light tactical vehicles such as Humvees; radios; night-vision goggles; and some weapons, Cody said.

The implications for Taiwan are obvious, right there in that first paragraph, the death knell for Taiwan if the US hits Iran. The US military cannot respond with the necessary speed to a crisis here. This will mean that Japan may have to become deeply involved in any crisis over Taiwan, and early. Will they?

Never mind that our budget cannot stand the strain of another major war (hey, I had a letter on this a couple of years ago in the Taipei Times). China need merely wait, and Bush will hand it the opportunity for regional, if not global hegemony, on a platter. It remains to be seen whether China can grasp it, but no there can be no question that Bush has been by far the most destructive President in US history.

Now that I've cheered everyone up with those happy thoughts, let's see what the Taiwan blogosphere has to offer:

  • Ilha Formosa talks about fascinating new tech that lets him see 3-D pics of his son still in the womb.

  • A local blogger had a great piece in the Taipei Times today on the CKS memorial renaming and illegal moves by the Taipei City Government to protect it.

  • the leaky pen comments on the PRC support for the Great White Hope, Ma Ying-jeou. What are they going to do when he loses and they have to face Hsieh?

  • Patrick talks about xenophobia and the Nazis on Taiwan.

  • Taoyuan Nights discusses Taiwanese cinemas, and points to a great review of 300. Also, he's searching for romance in a harsh world. You go, Graeme, I'd do the same thing if I was not married.

  • Prince Roy has a great post on Beijing and Beijing food. Long, informative, insightful, great pics. Obviously about three weeks worth of pent-up blogging energy went into it.

  • David on Formosa discusses the new local film Reflections.

  • Divining your way to political candidacy.

  • Hey! I see the sun! Gotta run!

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Bush is the real life Greg Stillson. A real life Johnny should come forward and change destiny.