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Retired general: Iraq’s strain on Guard to harm communities

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Guard isn’t as strong as it should be because of the war in Iraq and American communities will suffer as a result, retired Air Force Gen. Melvyn Montano said Saturday.

Delivering the Democrats’ weekly radio address, Montano said the strain means it will take longer for Greensburg, Kan., to recover from a devastating tornado that leveled the town a week ago.

“Crucial equipment used by the Guard for disaster relief is now in Iraq instead of standing ready to respond to crises here at home,” said Montano, who was once adjutant general of the New Mexico National Guard.

“When the tornado struck Kansas last week, the Guard had half the number of Humvees and large trucks they usually would have at their disposal,” Montano said. “The recovery process now will take longer.”

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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