Udall wants to expand U.S. Army | VailDaily.com

Udall wants to expand U.S. Army

Daily Staff Report

WASHINGTON – Reducing what supporters call a strain on the military is the intent of a bill that would add 80,000 troops to the US. Army over the next four years. The bill was authored by several Democrats, including Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Eagle County’s congressman, Mark Udall. “The war in Iraq has put a tremendous strain on our army,” Udall said. “Our troops are overstretched – not just in Iraq and Afghanistan but in 117 other countries around the world – and unprepared to meet potential future threats.”The United States Army Relief Act will boost overall troop levels authorized by Congress by 20,000 active duty members per year over the next four years. The country is relying too heavily on National Guard and Reserve troops, said Udall, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “Without this bill, we risk asking too much of our men and women in uniform who have performed so courageously and sacrificed so much in their service to this country,” Udall said.Other sponsors of the bill include Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California. The sponsors said 80,000 additional troops will allow the army to fight abroad effectively and replenish troops regularly. The sponsors also a large number of police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers who are members of the National Guard and Reserve have been sent overseas while the cities where they work are attempting to bolster terrorism defenses.”Raising the cap on the size of the U.S. Army will reduce the need for back-to-back tours, stop-loss orders, and lengthy, unpredictable deployments, making the military a more attractive place to serve,” Tauscher said. “It’s critical that we combat the recruitment and retention problems that threaten to break our all-volunteer army.”Vail, Colorado

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