The U.S. Army is stretched so thin in Iraq and Afghanistan that it's sending ill-prepared and ill-equipped young people into harm’s way, Time reports. And the surge in troops is only deepening the crisis: Two of the five new brigades bound for the Middle East will skip vital situational training in the Mojave Desert.
The administration brushes off the problem: "They can get desert training elsewhere," Tony Snow said in February, "like in Iraq." But truncated preparation is only the beginning. Recycled gear is deteriorating faster, morale is crashing, and the quality of recruits is sinking. "I love the Army," one long-time soldier tells Time, "but I hate this war."