Our Underequipped Military Forces

enlistedcowboy working the streets in Iraq, via Flickr.A story over at DefenseTech is reporting that four years after the September 11th attacks and during a time when US personnel are involved in armed action on the ground in Arabic speaking states, the military still doesn’t have a plan to train their soldiers in the language. It seems the Pentagon can spend bazilions on failed missile defense systems, but hasn’t the money or interest for language instruction.

I’d say get the folks in green some iPods and In Flight Arabic, or the more extensive Pimsleur Quick & Simple Arabic (hey, the Amazon reviews for it are positively glowing), but I’m thinking both lack important vocab for people who have to deal with car bombs regularly. Still, phrases like “the skyline looks beautiful” and “I like your city” might be good for PR.

All joking aside, we’ve gotta wonder what president or defense secretary sends troops off to war without second thoughts about how prepared they might be for it. The men and women on the ground have been struggling with lousey intel, too little armor, and civil war while the administration pumps ever more money into unrelated industry honey pots like future combat systems and missile defense. Onto that pile the administration’s cuts to soldier’s pay and benefits and we should begin to understand why both new vets and old are up in arms. All the while, elistment rates are falling, and the Army has raised it’s max enlistment age to 39 while invoking moral-killing stop-loss policies that some call a backdoor draft.

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