TOO MUCH FOCUS ON COUNTER-INSURGENCY?….Given the conditions on the ground in Iraq, it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking that the Armed Forces are overly focused on counter-insurgency efforts, and yet, there are apparently some military chiefs who believe just that.

“The major concern is, while we’re doing all this COIN [counterinsurgency] . . . do we have battalions that can still do an attack or a major defense, or brigades that can coordinate three battalions attacking an objective?” said Dennis Tighe, deputy director of the Combined Arms Center for Training. “Maybe we’ve got some problems there.” […]

Gen. Richard Cody, the Army vice chief of staff, was the first to sound the alarm publicly late last year. He warned that soldiers need more than 12 months between deployments so that they can complete a full range of combat training.

“We need to reset the sergeants and send them to schools, the lieutenants and captains and send them off, so that we don’t erode and become an Army that only can fight a counterinsurgency,” Cody told reporters. He added that North Korea’s Oct. 3 nuclear test “reminds us all that we may not just be in a counterinsurgency fight and we have to have full-spectrum capability.”

Thankfully, Noah Shachtman takes these officials to task for their bizarre notion that the Army, in the midst of a massive insurgency, is too concerned with fighting insurgents: “Of course we need to have an Army that’s prepared for every eventuality. But it seems to me like we should be zeroing in on the eventuality that’s right in front of our faces.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.