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Don't sell citizen warriors short

June 03, 2007

Re "Bush's draft dodge," Opinion, May 26

Lawrence Korb and Max Bergman have it half right when they say that today's military cannot fight a long war without reinforcements.

They are wrong, however, when they say those reinforcements must come from a draft. The 600,000 men and women of the nation's Reserve and National Guard who have been mobilized since 9/11 have provided exactly the kind of augmentation force that they were designed for. Those forces have served with distinction, and they show no sign of quitting.

Today's recruiting and retention figures remain strong. The argument that the National Guard is under-equipped for homeland defense missions is misleading. It is true but irrelevant to this argument.

Congress must do something to reequip all forces -- active, Guard and Reserve. But those are equipment issues that would be the same whether or not we had a draft.

Don't sell our citizen warriors short -- they have saved the country from a draft. Give them the right support, and they will continue to do so.

DENNIS M. MCCARTHY

Executive director

Reserve Officers Assn.

Washington

The writer is a retired Marine lieutenant general.

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