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Readiness on my Mind: House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) believes military readiness is in jeopardy, as well (see above). Army and Marine Corps leaders appeared before his panel Tuesday, citing equipment shortfalls that have led to training deficiencies. Skelton targeted President Bush’s planned escalation of US ground forces in Iraq, when he declared that the increase would simply exacerbate readiness difficulties and “limit our ability to fight the war on terror.” He said, “I am convinced a 20,000 troop increase is too little far too late to make a difference in Iraq’s security, this is a trade-off I cannot support.”