This NYTimes piece on the sorry state of the US Army’s Third Infantry Division is as good a place to start as any if you’re trying to grasp what a swindle Chávez’s the-gringos-are-coming scare tactics really are:
The enormous strains on equipment and personnel, because of longer-than-expected deployments, have left active Army units with little combat power in reserve.
Other than the 17 brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan, only two or three combat brigades in the entire Army — perhaps 7,000 to 10,000 troops — are fully trained and sufficiently equipped to respond quickly to crises, said a senior Army general.
Most other units of the active-duty Army, which is growing to 42 brigades, are resting or being refitted at their home bases. But even that cycle, which is supposed to take two years, is being compressed to a year or less because of the need to prepare units quickly to return to Iraq.
The groovy-rebel-lefty ideology chavismo has built treats US military power as essentially inexhaustable – but it only takes a marginally competent reporter to chronicle how silly that view is. So on top of the fact that if Chávez really wants to get invaded that bad he has to wait in line behind bigger threats to US security like Iran, North Korea and Syria, there’s the reality that the US military doesn’t have the resources to sustain another large-scale offensive right now. Poor Chávez, he’d be so disappointed to hear it…