U.S. Military Stretched Too Thin?
The lengthy Iraq campaign, along with the dwindling support of international forces, is leading the U.S. to make some major military shifts.
First, on the home front, America is calling for more reservists to serve in Iraq. Lacking a military draft, America has had to rely heavily on its Army Reserves and National Guard. The Pentagon plans to expand the U.S. force in Iraq to 138,000 troops through 2005. “Already, 51 percent of the 350,000-strong Army National Guard has been activated since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Pentagon projects that over the next three to five years, it will require between 100,000 and 150,000 Guard and Reserve forces to support ongoing military operations” (Christian Science Monitor, May 13).
This rise in the call for reservists has influenced a lowering of some of the troops’ morale. People usually join the military reserves for reasons other than any desire to serve in combat. Therefore, the number of those joining the reserves will likely diminish.
Second, while the reserves pour into Iraq, troops stationed in other parts of the world are being reshuffled.
In May, Washington indicated it would move 3,600 soldiers stationed near the North Korean border to the operation in Iraq. South Korea has hosted 37,000 troops since the end of the Korean War 51 years ago.
The U.S. is preparing to cut the number of troops stationed in Europe by up to a third. With 119,000 American troops there, that means about 40,000 troops will be transferred. Many will probably move to trouble spots in the Middle East.
The reshuffling of troops and the extensive use of reservists is evidence that America’s military is being stretched thin. For decades, the late Herbert Armstrong prophesied of the U.S. military’s decline. More specifically, he noted that a major U.S. pullout of Europe would accelerate the rise of a united Europe that would eventually turn on the U.S., as Bible prophecy indicates.
For more on the prophetic implications of America’s troop realignment, please see our July 2003 article “Shuffling the Deck” under “Issue Archives” at www.theTrumpet.com.