“Entered This War Flat-Footed”:

Gen. Peter Schoomaker, Army Chief of Staff, testified before a Congressional task force that the Army “entered this war flatfooted.” He told the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves Dec. 14 that, at the beginning of the war on terror, the Army had faced a $56 billion equipment shortage and that meant it had to pool equipment and personnel to make reserve units combat ready. Since then, said Schoomaker, the Army has directed more dollars toward equipping the reserves. That is the good news. Schoomaker went on to assert that it is time to change the mobilization rules written for a strategic reserve. Without new policies to allow more access to reserve units, he said the current pace of operations “will break the active component.” Schoomaker sees three choices: “reduce demand; gain recurrent, predictable, and assured access to the reserve components; or grow the active component.” Schoomaker favors increasing the size of the active Army, beyond the 30,000 already enacted by Congress.