The chairma of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves says if we're going to send these troops to war and deploy them more freely for civil operations, we'd better change the way we treat them.
A profound shift in U.S. public policy has occurred in the total absence of public debate. A military reserve force that once served this nation in a strategic capacity—available for mobilization to respond to once-in-a-lifetime contingencies overseas—is now being used as an operational reserve, serving on a daily basis in combat and in support roles at home and overseas.
After nearly two years of study, our independent Commission on the National Guard and Reserves has concluded that the threats and our national security compel the development of such an operational reserve. As stated in our final report delivered to Congress and the Secretary of Defense in January 2008, there is no reasonable alternative to continuing an increased reliance on the reserve forces for a wide range of missions at home and abroad. (To see the report, visit www.cngr.gov and click on "Resource Center," then "CNGR Reports.")