Democrats Release Study Highlighting Strain on
Document Identifies Critical Dangers to Our Armed Forces
From the Office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
January 25, 2006
Washington, D.C. - Senator Jack Reed today joined former
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former Secretary of
Defense William Perry in a press conference for the release of
the report "The US Military: Under Strain and at Risk."
The report is a damning analysis of the effects of Bush Administration
policies on our nation's military. By failing to adequately plan
for post-conflict Iraq, failing to send enough forces to accomplish
the mission with an acceptable level of risk, and failing to adequately
equip the Americans sent into harm's way, the Bush Administration
has put our ground troops under enormous strain that, if not soon
relieved, will have "highly-corrosive and potentially long-term
effects on the force."
The report lays out five recommended courses of action to
prepare for future military needs:
1. Fully fund the post-Iraq recovery and transformation of our
2. Adapt the National Guard and Reserves for the future.
3. Increase the deployable Army forces by at least 30,000 personnel.
4. Rebalance U.S. military capabilities for 21st century missions
such as combating terrorism and insurgency and conducting reconstruction
5. Increase support for recruiting and retention efforts.
"For months, Congressman John Murtha and others have warned
about the impact of the war in Iraq on our military, particularly
our ground forces. The report prepared by Secretary Perry, Secretary
Albright, and their colleagues supports these warnings and identifies
the serious problems our military faces in recruiting, retention,
and equipment readiness," said House Democratic Leader Nancy
Pelosi. "Solving these problems will be costly, but unless
they are fully addressed soon, our nation is at risk of not having
a military sufficiently capable of responding to future threats.
When the President submits his budget next month, it will be an
indication of whether he intends to provide the leadership necessary
to offer real solutions to make our military stronger."
"Our men and women in uniform have performed superbly the
missions we have asked them to do," said Senate Democratic
Leader Harry Reid. "Unfortunately, I agree with the report's
conclusion that the Bush Administration has broken faith with
the American soldier and Marine. The Administration must implement
the recommendations in this report to ensure that our armed forces
can adapt to the new challenges of the 21st century with their
customary toughness and agility, but also with the civilian leadership's
commitment to giving them what they need. I hope the President
will directly address this report in his State of the Union address
The Leaders' National Security Advisory Group, commissioned by
Senate Democratic Leader Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy
Pelosi to provide advice to Congress on long-term national security
challenges, is chaired by former Defense Secretary William J.
Perry. Its members include: Michele A. Flournoy, Madeleine K.
Albright, Graham T. Allison, Samuel R. Berger, Ashton B. Carter,
Wesley K. Clark, Thomas E. Donilon, John D. Podesta, Susan E.
Rice, John M. Shalikashvili, Wendy R. Sherman, Elizabeth D. Sherwood-Randall,
and James B. Steinberg.