In an unprecedented move, the 53 adjutants general representing National Guard units in every state and three territories have signed and are preparing to issue a set of resolutions criticizing the Carter administration for allowing the National Guard to deteriorate, it has been learned.
"The National Guard and the Reserves have nearly 60 percent of the nation's defense burden on mobilization but we represent only 5 percent of the defense budget," says the document, which the group has labeled the "Portland Resolves."
The 12-page document is named after the Oregon city in which the 53 officials are meeting this week. It is to be made public Wednesday.
According to a spokesman for the adjutants-general, both the National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserves are woefully understaffed, underfunded and unprepared for any military contingency.
"We couldn't mobilize enough firepower to stop Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," said one officer. "Our equipment is 20 to 25 years old and half of it isn't even functional. It's a joke."
Yet, according to the 13-point "Portland Resolves," both Congress and the administration persist in the dangerous policy of positioning hugh stocks of sophisticated military equipment -- equipment unavailable to the National Guard -- in Germany and in other nations.
"We must resolve to prohibit the gift or sale of new military equipment to either foreign friends or neutrals before our own forces -- active and reserve -- are all properly equipped," the document said.
The adjutants also called on Congress, President Carter and presidential candidates, to help restore the 349,000-man National Guard and the 190,000-man reserves to "equipment and training parity with those of our potential adversaries."
Other resolutions called for:
The establishment of a fair policy to attract better skilled enlistees, along with a system of national service for all Americans.
The speedy capability to airlift and sealift troops and equipment where and when needed in the world.
Full-time staffing of the reserves and National Guard (organizations which field the bulk of U.S. ground forces on mobilization) instead of the part-time employe system now in effect.
"These deficiencies and shortfalls are not new to the Guard, or for that matter, to the rest of the armed forces," the adjutants said. "National leaders will surely remember . . . that the United States after every major war slashed its military expenditures, reduced its number of fighting men . . . all because its citizens apparently believed that such unilateral disarmament would bring peace.
"The U.S. has moved thusly in the name of peace -- while potential adversaries (in the most recent case, the Soviet Union) mounted vigorous, peacetime armament programs -- creating huge, increasingly dangerous imbalances of power and threatening the U.S. and its interests in the world," they said.