Military Review English Edition July-August 2014 - Page 37

SUSTAINING THE ARNG Notably, ARNG units will find it difficult to obtain a higher level of readiness without adequate resources. Throughout history nations have let their military forces deteriorate for various reasons, later realizing the magnitude of their errors. The infamous Task Force Smith—a poorly prepared and ineffective U.S. operation in South Korea in 1950— remains a prime example of the consequences of inadequate military preparedness.4 Many contemporary leaders have understood the principles of readiness in pragmatic terms. Former Secretary of Defense MILITARY REVIEW  July-August 2014 Donald Rumsfeld (interviewed by Ray Suarez, News Hour, PBS, 9 December 2004) famously stated, “You go to war with the Army you have. They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” When conflict begins, military forces are not always ready. In World War II, the U.S. Army needed almost one year to prepare before it engaged the enemy in ground combat during Operation Torch in North Africa and two and a half years before it was ready to execute D-Day.5 In Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, five ARNG brigades were mobilized—three maneuver brigades and two field artillery brigades.6 Why only the field artillery brigades made it to the field of battle is debatable. However, the fact is that when maneuver brigades first were needed, they were not ready. In 2008, the Israeli Winograd Commission released a critical review of Israel’s 2006 Lebanon Campaign (sometimes known as the Hezbollah-Israeli War).7 U.S. Army historian Matt Matthews reports that the commission’s analysis attributed the Israeli Army’s poor showing partly to inadequately trained and equipped reserves.8 In the Hezbollah-Israeli War, the Israeli Army failed to degrade the operational effectiveness of Hezbollah. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated, “the war was a national catastrophe and Israel suffered a critical blow.” Considering the potential consequences, military units that are not operationally ready have no business being on the battlefield. Flattening the ARFORGEN cycle will not, by itself, help the ARNG adapt to being an Col. Thomas Zubik is an infantry officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and a graduate of the Air War College. He holds a B.A. in speech communication from Eastern Illinois University and an M.S.W. from the University of Illinois. He served on operational deployments in Kosovo, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. Col. Paul C. Hastings, U.S. Army National Guard, Retired, commanded the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Illinois Army National Guard. He has deployed to Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He holds a B.A. from Texas A & M University and an M.A. in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. Col. Michael J. Glisson, U.S. Army National Guard, currently commands the 65th Troop Command Brigade. He has deployed in support of Operation Nobel Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom. He holds a B.F.A. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and an M.A. in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. 35