Heavy deployments of the National Guard and reserves for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have deepened shortages, forced the cobbling together of units and hurt recruiting, according to a congressional report delivered Thursday, resulting in 88% of all units inside the U.S. rating as “not ready” (external - login to view). State Guard officials say they are unprepared to respond to a large-scale terrorist attack or natural disaster, and the current troop increase in Iraq is expected to require the call-up of as many as four National Guard combat brigades.

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