2.26.2008 8:08 AM

Iraq War Leaving Home Front Vulnerable

Schwarzenegger: States Need National Guard for Natural Disaster Response


By Dan Shapley

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger again added his voice to the chorus of complaint from states that fear they won't be able to respond to natural disasters because the Iraq war has taken their National Guardsmen away from home and depleted their equipment, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Every state is vulnerable to natural disasters of one kind of another, whether earthquake, wildfire, tornado, flood or hurricane. The repeated outbreaks of out-of-season tornadoes that have struck the U.S. this winter are a reminder that natural disasters are often unpredictable, and that the government needs to have relief ready at a moment's notice.

With state equipment like vehicles and helicopters in short supply, and state budgets tighter than at any time in recent years, governors are looking for the federal government to replace the equipment they've been asked to give. But the federal government is strapped, too, and the Iraq war grinds on.


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