Jets or GIs? How Best to Address the Military’s Manpower Shortage

In December 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked by a soldier why U.S. troops in Iraq were not properly equipped for their mission. Rumsfeld responded that “you have to go to war with the army you have, not the army you want.” Rather than resolve anything, however, the secretary’s explanation only begged two further and fundamental questions about the U.S. armed forces: What kind of military does the country really want? And if it does not have it, how can it get it?

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