War, public complacency and Katrina

You all witnessed how long it took for the National Guard to get into New Orleans in large numbers. The National Guard takes time to muster as people are diverted from their daily lives and then organized -- it makes sense that they would take days to respond. You can argue that they should have been pre-deployed. I live in California, and I would hope that we'd have a standing force of National Guard ready if we had pre-warning of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake coming. Yet, there is no doubt that active military can move faster than National Guard simply because they are already actively deployed.

It is obvious that the US armed forces are being spread too thin. The mess in New Orleans has to be partially blamed on the bulk of the mobile US Armed Forces being deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the federal government not taking the steps to make sure that we have enough military to take care of domestic issues should they occur. Now, to me the reason for this is obvious: recruitment in the military is down, and we do not have a draft. If we did have a draft, I am sure political will would start to wane. So, we have ourselves a conundrum that leaves a gaping vulnerability. A draft alternative would be truly domestic and full time deployed National Guard which can't be tapped to go abroad.

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Re: War, public complacency and Katrina

I agree that it's pretty tough trying to honor all the commitments with the active-duty military and the organized reserves (Reserve and National Guard) units. However, there's a over-looked and unfortunately under-manned contingent: the state guards. Some states such as California, Virginia, Georgia, New York, and New Jersey, etc. have State Guard or Defense Forces set up. These units were primarily set up during WWI when the National Guard units of the states were called up for federal service and the states felt naked and defenseless, so they set up their own state troops. Incidentally, New York and New Jersey have (I believe) the only state naval militia troops in the country. However, I believe that the requirements for them to be participating US Naval Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve cuts out much use for them now.
Since almost no one has ever heard of them, their recruitment levels are pretty low, think there's a national website for them: sguas.org.
Since they're state troops, they're usually (as an organized body) just under the state governor's jurisdiction (although individually, they could be called up for a general draft or mobilization if it ever came to that.)

My niece is in the La Guard s

My niece is in the La Guard so I know where they were.
What happened was, Katrina was going to hit NOLA from the South head on, so the guard was evacuating the areas South of the city such as Terrebonne parish and St Charles parish.
In the last cpl hours before the storm hit, it turned East and caused the storm surge to hit the city from it's most vulnerable direction (albeit being on the West side of the storm produced a smaller surge and less rain - not that it matters a whole lot at cat 4-5).
The result was that the highways into the city from the West were flooded and the Guard and Red cross couldnt get in by land anywhere.

It was purely a logistical nightmare for the guard and there was no shortage of troops whatsoever.
As for the governor and mayor bumbling so badly, I can only say they are both new at what they do and neither got elected on merit.
Blanco was so worried GW would get the credit for things she refused all federal counsel and help for too long.
She is also more than unqualified to hold such power.
I was listening to her and Nagin through the storm (as I rode it out North of the city in a hardened bldg) and they were simply lost and befuddled.
Nagin is at the helm of the most corrupt and inept city govt and police force in the US (though to be fair, he only recently inherited it), and the results were predictable.

Lastly, the way to prevent the scenes we all saw on tv is to dismatle the perpetual poverty welfare state that costs everyone so dearly - in so many ways - and puts people like Landreiu, Blanco, and Nagin in charge.
Most of those that were trapped were recipients of the furlined manacles that kept them in nice neat, reproducing, generationally dependent, voting blocs for the crooks that have run this state forever.

While Katrina cased much misery (some of which I enjoyed), she flushed what needed flushing and Godwilling, blew the top off of a very old snake den.
I just hope they keep shining a bright light on em despite those trying to blame the feds for not doing the La/NO govts' job.

As for the guard, there really is no dilemna.
We have plenty enough of em everywhere and they're quite prepared - as long as their commander in chief (the governor) uses them correctly - and as long as everyone remembers that they are 2nd responders - not 1st.
The police are 1st and if the feds should do anything, they should enforce standards of recruitment, training, and discipline across the nation.
Corruption must also carry a much higher price.

National Gaurd

John, I don't know if you will see this but it is worth a shot. My friends brother in law is in the LA National Gaurd. On Sat before the hurricane he called on his cellphone and said they had been mobilized and were in a hotel in downtown NO. On monday he called and described spending the day picking up floating bodies. The media continually said the Gaurd was not there. for what it is worth. framer