Policy Forum

Military Manpower Requirements: Too Much or Not Enough?

March 15, 2004 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EST

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring Janice Laurence, National Defense University; Christopher Preble, Cato Institute; and Michael Vlahos, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

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The U.S. Army is feeling the crunch of the ongoing military occupation in Iraq. Stop‐​loss orders are in place to keep active duty, reserve, and national guard troops from leaving the service when their contractual obligation expires. Even though a July 1 deadline has been set for handing the government of Iraq back to the Iraqis, there is no certain date for withdrawing U.S. troops. Rumsfeld has authorized the Army to increase troop strength by 30,000 troops above its congressionally mandated level of 482,000. Is the U.S. military big enough? Should military commitments and missions be downsized to fit within current manpower constraints? Is the Iraq deployment likely to result in an exodus from active duty, reserve, and guard units? Can an all‐​volunteer force be maintained if a larger force is needed?