There's been a lot of talk about the Pentagon understaffing the Iraq ground war. Now, a new question is arising: Did it overstaff the sea war?"If something were to crop up in two or three months with North Korea, there is a good chance much of the (U.S.) Navy would be in the shipyards," GlobalSecurity.org's Patrick Garrett tells Copley News Service.
The Iraq war has so upset the Navy's carrier deployment schedule that admirals are shelving prewar plans and rethinking the strategy for dispatching naval power to faraway trouble spots.In the meantime, with nearly a third of the fleet deployed or returning from wartime service, it may take up to six months before the Navy could deploy a similar force to handle another large-scale contingency, such as operations against a hostile North Korea."We'll be re-cocked and ready to go as early as December," said Vice Adm. Timothy LaFleur, who oversees the Navy's surface warships from his San Diego headquarters. (emphasis mine)