Let's focus on the issue of readiness. Especially the purely military aspects of readiness. Consider the fundamental premise underlying recent developments in US military doctrine, from our all-volunteer Army to improvements in education levels, from the force-multiplying effects of high technology to a daunting proliferation of strange and unprecedented new kinds of threats, each requiring new systems of training and response.
Any informed observer must be impressed with the intelligence and agility with which our skilled professional defenders have confronted every issue, addressing a bewildering variety of new dangers with enhanced skill sets and rapidly-adapting technology.
And yet, these costly trends were -- naturally -- accompanied by reductions in overall manpower, to the point where we currently have fewer active army and marine divisions than at any time since 1939.