The Corner

Helprin Truth-Telling

The most important point of Mark Helprin’s piece in NRODT is that it was only because of the uniformed military’s insistence–against its civilian chiefs–that we commit more troops to Iraq, that we had enough troops to do as well as we did in the first place. Here is a key quote: “Though the uniformed military’s ‘retrograde’ insistence on a massive force saved the country from a disaster of overconfidence, the administration will now use the victory to argue the false and destructive choice of quality versus mass, which flows from a patronizing and inaccurate political judgment that Americans will not sacrifice to ensure their own defense.” My fear is that the administration’s political judgment is indeed accurate. But Helprin tells the truth in this piece. We have too few troops, and the reason for that is the administration’s belief that it is too politically dangerous to expand our armed forces. If you want to hear it from someone else, listen to John McCain. And for a plan to expand the military without a draft, have a look at, “It’s Getting a Little Drafty,” my piece from the April 21 issue of NRODT.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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