Wednesday, August 23, 2006

BACK TO THE MEAT GRINDER, BOYS

AP reports that the number of military personnel in Iraq has climbed back to 138,000. Up to 2,500 Marines will be recalled, although "there is no cap on the total number who may be forced back into service in the coming years as the military helps fight the war on terror."

Following a decline in troop strength to 127,000 earlier this summer, "the number of U.S. troops in Iraq has climbed back to 138,000, driven up in part by the need to control the escalating violence in Baghdad and the decision to delay the departure of an Alaska-based Army brigade." The latest Marine recalls followed Bush's decision to authorize them, on July 26.

Not to attempt calling bullshit when I'm not 100% sure of what I speak, but hasn't there been "violence in Bagdad" pretty much since 2003? Because a brigade (1,500-3,000 troops) is being delayed, that explains an increase of 11,000 in a couple months? There's no cap on recalls?

As Marine Col. Guy A. Stratton said, explaining the troop redeployments said: "Since this is going to be a long war, we thought it was judicious and prudent at this time to be able to use a relatively small portion of those Marines to help us augment our units."

Long war, huh? Question is, in what country?

8 Comments:

Blogger Weaseldog said...

Donald Rumsfield and Dick Cheney says we'll be fighting this war for decades.

That's how they define, "Staying the course."

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheney doesn't tell the truth often, but he did candidly call it "The war that will not end in our lifetimes." Defense contractors need to earn a living, you know.

Oddly, polls show that only 35% still favor the war, yet any candidate who mentions a troop withdrawal (however far-off) gets tarred by the press as an out-of-touch weakling / terrorist-lover who's bound to go down in the flames of the ghost of McGovern. That crazy liberal media.

You don't think the fact that media conglomerates are controlled by war profiteers explains their pro-war stance, do you? I must have a tinfoil hat on today.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous waitingforthealiens said...

I don't know the details, but a lot of Army and Army reserve personnel are also liable for service beyond their enlistments. By being born in '55 I was lucky enough to just miss getting drafted for Viet Nam, but I have always actually favored conscription.

I see this as being unethical behavior by the DOD that will further depress enlistment in the near term, putting the soldiers in the field in even greater danger.

If there is an upside, it will mean a resumption of the draft which will put middle class and wealthy youths at risk which will hopefully result in a little hesitation in committing the country to unwise military adventures.

And what a shock: another major fuckup and so far I don't believe one of the Pentagon civilian "leaders" has left his position involuntarily.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

another major fuckup and so far I don't believe one of the Pentagon civilian "leaders" has left his position involuntarily.

Which remains one of the real shocking details of the last 3+ years. Neither Rumsfeld, nor anyone I'm aware of in intelligence or in the field has been fired.

Stay the course, indeed.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous nyhmr said...

How do I start without getting on a rant about this?

I feel that Iraq is an experiment by Rumsfeld. Way in 2000, before 9/11, he wanted to reduce the overall size of the military to make smaller more flexible units. I think that this is why he didn't send the required amount of troops to begin with, no matter what the generals told him would be an adequate number.

Shrub and company didn't listen to their resident warfighter, Gen. Powell, because he just doesn't know how to fight a war, like let's say "6 deferments for the Vietnam War" Cheney.

Reserves and National Guard were sent to Iraq, beacause of the grief Shrub and Quayle got for their Natinal Guard service during Vietnam. Sort of a way for the Republicans to prove thier manhood at the cost of someone else's blood.

WFTA- you are right that all enlistees have to sign a contract that has them do a term of 8 years. 4 to 5 years active and the rest inactive reserve. With the proviso that the inactive reserve can be called up before their contract is up. Normally no one really worries about this, because inactive reserve are not called up, so usually they go on and build a life after the military.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

nyhmr-

Sounds like you served. Is this correct? Which branch?

I've always been interested in the opinions of guys who actually served. I was friends with a co-worker during the 1st Gulf War. He'd been a Marine from '84 to '88, I believe.

It was amazing to hear the other waiters & cooks telling me (who'd never been in the service) as well as this former Marine that we were un-American for supporting the war.

Somehow they gave him more shit than they gave me, rationalizing that he was somehow "betraying" his former buddies. It was as amazing as it was disgusting.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous nyhmr said...

Mike-

I was a Leatherneck for 20 years. I was a support equipment electrician in the airwing, so I didn't see any combat.

My attitude is different now that I am retired. When I was in I was for a good show of military force to anyone that messed with us. Now since it is someone else's son or daughter I feel it should be a damned good reason for it. I still support the Marine brotherhood, and always will, but only the ones that fight with honor and do not tarnish our reputation.

I am also a Yankees fan, but don't hold that against me.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

Hmm. Standard enlistment terms were 6 years not eight when I served. 4 active, 2 inactive reserve. Reservists signed a 6 year inactive reserve contract.

Never heard of an 8 year contract...must be new. Longest contract back then was 6 years fully active, that for advanced school or special programs like MECEP.

Oddly enough I served during the same time period. Even more coincidentally I was a Marine Air Winger.

You and I must have run into each other nyhmr.

8:33 AM  

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