Nat'l Guard troops thin for Bush border assignment

When your solution to everything from foreign policy to immigration and hurricane relief depends on the military, the strain can reach the breaking point. The Associated Press reports:

The Bush administration has been unable to muster even half the 2,500 National Guardsmen it planned to have on the Mexican border by the end of June, officials in the border states said.

But the head of the National Guard Bureau disputed that tally and said the goal would be met by today.

As of Thursday, fewer than 1,000 troops were in place, according to military officials in Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona.

President Bush's plan called for all 50 states to send troops. But only 10 states, including the four border states, have signed commitments. Some state officials have argued that they cannot free up Guardsmen because of flooding in the East, wildfires in the West or the prospect of hurricanes in the South.

In the South, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia are all in. South Carolina is bawking, saying they need the troops for hurricane season (GA and NC, did you think about this?).

The whole episode does raise a question: why does our country has so little infrastructure to handle crisis events that's not a branch of the armed forces?