60% Or Less

Sometimes it can be easy to detach one’s self from the horrors in Iraq and Afghanistan because those things are happening so far away. You see the violence every day on television and become desensitized, if you don’t have any family or friends over there, you may exhibit a general kind of empathy, but it’s not personal.

You can even buy the old “fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here,” line which makes not seeing the impact that Iraq is directly having here at home.

But the ripple effect that the wars are having here at home was thrust into the spotlight by Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius. In the aftermath of the wreckage that ravaged Greensburg, the governor leveled a damning charge upon the administration, pointing to the toll that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were having on the National Guard, a vital component in early response to a natural disaster.

Now USAToday runs a piece showing that 31 states have been left with 60% or less of their National Guard units which could put a definite strain on states’ abilities to respond to natural disasters.

This is really not good news considering we are just getting into hurricane season and experts predict this is going to be a rough one.

You know, it crops up from time to time in political debate about preventing the next 9/11. Rudy has chosen to make it a campaign platform. But who talks about preventing the next Katrina? On top of all the crap going on in Iraq, our inability to find a political solution, the continuous loss of American lives, and the turmoil that plagues the country, we also see that not only are our efforts over there doing little to help the Iraqis, they’re doing little to help us here at home, siphoning off vital help that we need in times of dire emergency.

USAToday has a chart up that allows you to look directly at your state and the state of readiness of its National Guard.

I looked up my state and we’re doing pretty good. Virginia is lucky to be one of those states not below sixty percent, so hooray for us! My mom who lives in California, land of the earthquakes, is not doing so well at fifty percent, but the NG over there is saying they can still handle the problems they need to.

Mikey’s state of Pa, though, isn’t doing so hot at 49%:

Maj. Gen. Jessica Wright said the equipment situation for domestic missions is reaching a crisis point. Not only is there not enough equipment, but what the guard has is ancient and getting used at a higher rate because of the war. The Guard’s 2.5-ton trucks are between 35- and 40-years old. “We are stretched to capacity,” Wright said.

Sorry, Mike. If a hurricane hits, yall are welcome to stay with us.

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