When Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff, met with reporters at a breakfast this morning, he was reluctant to say much about the brand-new Obama administration. But he did say he liked what he he had seen on the White House's overhauled Web site, which includes a new position paper on Obama's defense agenda.
Chiarelli said he browsed the site yesterday after it was launched and read up on the president's official agenda for defense. And, he said he was particularly pleased with the administration's position on growing the Army. "I'm sure the Marines feel the same way, because it said the same thing about the Marines."
"Obama and Biden support plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marine Corps by 27,000 Marines. Increasing our end strength will help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families," the paper states.
Chiarelli said he was also happy to see support for non-kinetic skill sets that are so useful to today's conflicts.
Obama and Biden believe that we must build up our special operations forces, civil affairs, information operations, and other units and capabilities that remain in chronic short supply; invest in foreign language training, cultural awareness, and human intelligence and other needed counterinsurgency and stabilization skill sets.
"I was very, very pleased that that is the direction they seem to be going," said Chiarelli.
Meanwhile, the vice chief of staff made some news on FCS, which we cover here.
-- Kate Brannen