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Fact-Checking the New York Times

Elisabeth Bumiller writes in today's edition:

But as the scandal widens and deepens, Mr. Rumsfeld is said to weigh every day whether he can continue to effectively run the world's largest military.


The Chinese Army numbers around 1.5 million people -- not counting their Air Force and Navy. What's left of Russia's active-duty armed forces still outnumber America's, and even India's Army dwarfs our own. In five minutes of research, I was able to confirm that the US Armed Forces are, at best, the world's fourth-largest.

Perhaps Bumiller meant the US has the world's most powerful armed forces -- that's a fact no one would dispute. Not willingly and on a battlefield, anyway. In other words, size and strength are two very differnet things. But that concept, apparently, is beyond Bumiller's grasp.

Still, Bumiller's sloppy reporting shouldn't come as any surprise, given what we've read (and haven't been allowed to read) the last few years.