WASHINGTON, DC–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada released the following statement regarding the Defense Department’s proposal to send 12,000 National Guard combat forces to Iraq and Afghanistan:
Democrats are continuing to fight to give our troops the resources they need, including a strategy for success worthy of their sacrifices. The President’s new plan to follow up his ill-advised escalation by sending ill-prepared National Guard troops to Iraq is another misguided strategy neither our troops nor the American people can afford. Nearly 90 percent of the Army National Guard has less than half the equipment they need to respond to a national crisis, and the war in Iraq is endangering our National Guard at home.
President Bush has done more than anyone to damage troop readiness, which are at levels not seen since the Vietnam War. While the Administration continually shifts its stance on when the escalation will end and when we will see results, our military is stretched too thin and our troops are returning to combat too soon and with too little training.