Surge leaving Middle America out to dry?

On Capitol Hill, top Democrats worry about the consequences of escalation for the people left at home.

Published February 27, 2007 10:49PM (EST)

Middle America is feeling unsafe. Speaking at a press conference on Capitol Hill today, top Democrats said that the administration's plan for escalation in Iraq will leave states unable to deal with natural disasters and attacks, as it will strip them of the National Guard troops and equipment sorely needed at home.

When blizzards ravaged Kansas earlier this year, the state didn't have the dump trucks and the backhoes it needed to clear the snow, because the war in Iraq had caused a serious equipment shortage, said Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. "God forbid we should ever have an attack or a pandemic."

The lack of supplies also leaves troops unprepared for deployment to Iraq, according to Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. Some Guard troops in Arkansas are training on Vietnam-era equipment, Pryor said.

Pryor also said that in six months, he would love to be able to say that "President Bush is a genius -- he did the right thing and it was a great call." But, he said, "I'm afraid I won't be able to do that."

By Robin Bravender

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