For once the news from the health beat and the Senate chamber removed Iraq from the headlines. Nevertheless, the consequences of the war made news on Capitol Hill. All three Pentagon correspondents paid attention when Gen Peter Schoomaker warned at House hearings that "the army is stretched so thin it could break," as ABC's Jonathan Karl put it.
CBS' David Martin attributed the Chief of Staff's loosened tongue to his imminent change of boss: with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on his way out "Schoomaker broke ranks and went public." He called for the National Guard to be used more. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski noted that current rules limit the reserves to one deployment every six years.
Current recruiting and training methods cannot grow the regular army more quickly than 6,000 soldiers per year, Martin added. If any of the Pentagon reporters were feeling a draft, none mentioned it.
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