Much is said these days about the mismatch of missions and resources for the military. A recent Rand Corporation report warned that failing to deploy a large enough Army could “lead to a failure of the U.S. strategy and subsequent regret.”
But as I point out in National Interest online, “the solution is not to spend more. It is to reassess foreign policy objectives. Better to scale back an over-ambitious strategy than to waste scarce resources pursuing dubious goals.”
For instance, Rand pointed to 2007-2008, when the Bush administration decided to increase combat forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The report explained: “Unfortunately, insufficient ground forces existed to meet the demands in both Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Yet what was achieved by both of these wars? The disastrous Iraq invasion was misguided from the start. Little more has been achieved in Afghanistan after14 year of nation-building.
The problem was not too few troops. It was the wrong objectives.