Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 11, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

EXTENDED DUTY....Well, now we know where Bush is getting the troops for his surge:

The Pentagon has abandoned its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty, officials said Thursday, a major change that reflects an Army stretched thin by longer-than-expected combat in Iraq.

....Until now, the Pentagon's policy on the Guard or Reserve was that members' cumulative time on active duty for the Iraq or Afghan wars could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months, Pace said.

In other words, a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or
Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as an additional 24 months. In practice, Pace said, the Pentagon intends to limit all future mobilizations to 12 months.

This should go over well....

Kevin Drum 6:44 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (79)

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Comments

This will do wonders for recruiting.

Meanwhile, both the Guard and the Reserves are bleeding officers like there is no tomorrow. The Reserves are now short nearly 11,000 Officers just in the Lieutenant and Captain ranks.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 11, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

This is called a Backdoor DRAFT!

Posted by: pgl on January 11, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Disgusting. Immoral. How can we ask these people to sacrifice so much, while most sacrifice absolutely nothing, all for a losing cause.

This is the stuff that sparks rebellion. No kidding.

Posted by: Palooza on January 11, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Seven across, four letters, starts with "F"

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 11, 2007 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

The Reserves are now short nearly 11,000 Officers just in the Lieutenant and Captain ranks.

The word is that now you will be able to earn your commission through a mail-order home study course.

Posted by: qwerty on January 11, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

pgl is right - this really is just a draft. This is obviously not what the reservists signed up for.

Posted by: reader on January 11, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Remember when Citizen Soldiers assumed they had the right to go home when their agreed upon enlistment was up?

Posted by: Boronx on January 11, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

It indicates Bush's lack of seriousness regarding the military. He and the Republicans who empower him do not care about the average soldier.

All that strutting and posturing in front of captive military audiences comes across very shallow to me considering the way they have treated the military.

If you don’t agree, consider exactly whom Bush has asked to sacrifice during this Iraq debacle. The military. Period.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 11, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

The Reserves are now short nearly 11,000 Officers just in the Lieutenant and Captain ranks

I am definitely officer material, but I sincerely believe that I can serve my country better in landfill adminstration.

Posted by: Al on January 11, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

>This should go over well....

Nah. They volunteered.

Everyone needs to be reminded that once you sign up for the military you are a BODY that can be used in any way the military likes.

The problem is the idea is being abused.

Join the military. See the world. And stay there.

Posted by: James on January 11, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

I sincerely believe that I can serve my country better as landfill.

Fixed it for ya Al.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 11, 2007 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

On Talk of the Nation today some retired general was asked where the support troops for the 20k combat forces will come from. He said that they are already in place in Iraq, which I took to mean that support troops who are already there will have take on additional work.

Given this new info about the military lifting the mobilization limit, it may be that the support troops are going to come from the same source as the combat troops -- by recycling -- which would really mean an increase of 60k-80k troops.

We really need an answer to this question.

Posted by: Disputo on January 11, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

This is how you get burned out GIs, pissed off at the world and shooting anything that moves on patrol. Not good for COIN ops.

Posted by: bubba on January 11, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Time for a coup d'etat...

Posted by: Guy Fawkes on January 11, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

A couple of points -

-Blue Girl makes a good point re the officer shortage, but that's NOT new, or more to the point, a function of Iraq. We've always had problems recruiting officers in the reserve component, largely because it's hell balancing the professional education requirements with family and a civilian career. It short, she's not wrong, but not everything is becuase of Iraq.

-This may not be popular on this board, but the tighter integration of the reserve component with active duty is probably a good thing. In the past, the reserves (Army component at least)have been a deep, deep strategic reserve. They were underfunded, undertrained, and, when you got down to it, not ready. They're in the process of becoming an operational reserve. There's no question that's painful, particularly for those who joined the "old" Guard, but it's ultimately necessary. My impression though, is that few joining the Guard TODAY have alot of illusions.

-Following up on the above, we are overusing the Guard. And the active duty armed forces are too small for the current "strategy". I've been extremely critical, on this and other boards, of the failure to enlarge the ground services, and buffoons like ex-lib who have stuck their heads in the ground on the matter. On 9/12/2001, the administration had a pretty good idea what was coming. They could have enlarged, they didn't, and dangled veto threats everytime Congress made noise in that area. Their inaction there, whatever you think of Iraq, tells you alot.

-Having said that, we are where we are. Longer term, I think DOD's got the right idea for the Guard - one year in six. How long it takes us to get there - well, that's another issue.

-This all applies regardless of what you think of Iraq. The reserves\Guard had to change. America has never gone to war without them (excepting Vietnam), and they weren't ready, whether it was Iraq or something else.

Posted by: hotrod on January 11, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

"They're in the process of becoming an operational reserve. There's no question that's painful, particularly for those who joined the "old" Guard, but it's ultimately necessary."

But the only reason we need an "operational" reserve is to go fight lots of optional wars.

In a real emergency (eg wwII) we can draft everybody, run a temporary command economy, send people off to war for 5 years at a time, etc and people will put up with it because it will be important enough to them.

Posted by: jefff on January 11, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

hotrod,

I never thought that any reserve component was "ready." In my 21 years in the Navy I was exposed to Naval Reserve outfits from time to time. Inadequate and obsoleted equipment staffed by folks that had found a cushy way to get a retirement check. I have always believed that the reserves were a creature created by Congress so Congressmen, political appointees et al could collect some extra bucks when they turned 60.

And look at POTUS and his time in the TANG.

Posted by: Chief on January 11, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

The bottom line is that this so-called troop surge WON'T WORK. This war is lost and everyone knows it. Its merely Bush throwing more bodies onto the alter of his own self-serving ego.

WTF are Republican hoping to accomplish?

More defeat?

More bad news?

Gates says, "months, not years" and he is *ucking right about that because NO American will wait too long as Bush gets nastier to Iraqis and thus Iraqis get nastier to our troops. The news from out of Iraq WILL only get worse and worse, and and voters will blame the GOP, as well they should. A man who is willing to strap a bomb about his person, unafraid of death is the ulitmate nasty and Bush wants more of this as does the GOP?

AND 18 months puts Republicans with more failure in the lost war of Iraq and have stood up to Bush and Dick Cheney right before the next election cycle with very angry voters.

Bush clearly cares about nobody but Bush, and loyality to Bush is a one-way street, the GOP must be loyal to Bush but Bush has no loyality to the GOP. Corporations will not hire ex-GOP to nice jobs if Dems control congress, and Dems will control it completely in the next two years because the GOP can't stop kissing Bush's ass. They learn nothing in last election cycle. The war will stay on front page of every newspaper from here to end the next election cycle.

This war can't be won with more troops. The GOP knows this, they just don't give a damn about our military members and in the end voters won't give a damn about the GOP.

Posted by: Cheryl on January 11, 2007 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Chief,

It sounds like we agree more than we disgree, though I don't know when you got out. Plus the Navy Reserve is a little different than any of the other services' reserve components.

To be clear, I'm saying we have to do better. Reserves will never be as fully proficient as an active duty unit, particulalry at complex tasks - I don't expect a National Guard heavy brigade to execute a multi-company withdrawal while in contact as proficiently as an active duty unit. But having a reserve force is a function of economics - you accept a lower level of readiness in exchange for massive cost savings. And a strongly led reserve unit can be a asset to the nation - we just have to get the balance between cost and readiness right. And we're doing better.

I joined the Guard in '03 (I've never been subject to UCMJ at a time I was posting on this board). I'm still in. I'm not going to get comprehensive, but suffice to say, the kind of half-assed nonsense that was a regular thing in 03 would get you absolutely crushed today. That's anecdotal as hell, but real enough to me.

Posted by: hotrod on January 11, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

On 9/12/2001, the administration had a pretty good idea what was coming.

Of course. The testimony that Bush administration insiders have provided has revealed that Iraq was on the agenda from 9/12/2001 on, and those statements have not been denied or refuted. September 11th has been a cover for PNAC "nation-building," ever since the moment the next day when Cheney collected his wits and start putting his plans into action.

The problem seems to be that Cheney's--and by extension the necons, State, Defense, and Big Oil--Big Plans ran up against an equally blinkered ideology: Rumsfeld's "military transformation". Even if you believe that Iraq was a good idea, you never could have done it with Rumsfeld's vision for the U.S. military. Conversely, if you like Rummy's transformation creed, then you should have accepted that adventurism like Iraq is beyond your reach. The wise old men who assumed they could have their cake and eat it too are responsible for this mess.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on January 11, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

I've come to the conclusion that this administration is doing a variation of suicide by cop. Call it suicide by Congress. They can't bring themselves to declare the war a loss, so they have come up with a policy so crazy that Congress has to step in and shut the whole thing down with its power of the purse. Then they can say we didn't loose the war Congress did. There is no other explanation.

Posted by: aline on January 11, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

No it isn't all Iraq that is causing the shortfall in the Reserves Officer Corps. It is a part of it though, and the situation is worse than it has been in the past.

The regular ((professional) Army, however is short 3,500 officers throughout the ranks, and you don't find Colonels at the corner recruiting station.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 11, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Next, I suppose they'll start coming after old soldiers like the Mandarin, who hung up his counter-insurgency manuals 37 years ago next month....

http://themandarin.blogspot.com/2007/01/condi-stands-by-her-man.html

I wonder if the pay is better these days than the $389/mo they paid a 2nd Lieutenant in 1971?

Posted by: The Mandarin on January 11, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Mandarin: The pay table for 2006 can be found here. Add a 2% COLA for everyone below O-9 and O-10. They get 8%. By the way, a General is raking in over ten grand a month.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 11, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe the shortage of officers is the result of "bright flight."

The more morons in control of the deployment of military forces, the fewer intelligent officers who are willing to serve under them.

Posted by: trueblue on January 11, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

trueblue - I think that position has merit. My own husband resigned his commission rather than serve this president. (Prescient, huh?) He retired a Major rather than hang around and put on his silver clusters, and his promotion was in the pike.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 11, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Another resource which is being plundered for this disaster, is Afghanistan. Troops will be moved from there to Iraq, leaving the mess there for NATO to deal with.

I say it is time to bring in a draft, starting with the children of the White House, the Congress, neo-con pundits etc. No exceptions or deferments allowed, they must be first on the ground in Iraq.

Posted by: Alison on January 11, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

The morons here in Louisiana's Capitol love it...

Or else our wingnut newspaper and TV stations have edited out any dissent - I wouldn't put it past them.

Posted by: F'in Librul on January 11, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Well you didn't expect his soldiers to come from the ranks of college republicans did ya?

Cowardly Lions..

ROTF...

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on January 11, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

They always find a way to sink lower.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 11, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Our brave men and women serving in our nation's forces (the most noble serving one can ascribe to) signed their names on the dotted line. They knew what they were getting into. That means if their country calls them to duty immediately after serving one or two times.

THat said, I think we are ignoring history. Think of the armies of the past. Hannibal's army spent years away from home. Ditto Alexander's. Napoleon's army spent a brutal hell in Russia's winter. We're way past that. But some people are never satisfied.

Posted by: egbert on January 11, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert needs to be fragged.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 11, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

UFO Crash in Central Iran,

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8510200361

Posted by: cld on January 11, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Since we seem to have some real military experts, let me ask something:

How long would it take to institute a draft, get another million soldiers in the Army, equip them, and send them all to Iraq?

I ask this because the President keeps saying that "failure" in Iraq is "unacceptable". If it's really unacceptable, one would think that the US would do literally everything in its power to prevent it. And I think everyone accepts that if there were 1 US soldier for every 25 Iraqis in that country, then the US would probably be able to at least tamp down the violence there. I assume that a crash effort to increase the size of the US military by 50% could succeed within 2 years, if we were on a WW2-type footing. So if the consequences of failure in Iraq are so unimaginable, why aren't we doing that?

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 11, 2007 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS -

Raking in over 10 grand a month? Looked like all but the highest paid Generals were under $150K per annum, which is a lot less than they'd make in civilian life for the most part (defense contractors and industry love their generals.) A lot of first year MBA types make that much when you factor in bonuses.

heck, I'm worried were not paying them enough.

Course, double that for the enlisted and lower level officers.

Posted by: Fides on January 11, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Well they can go ahead with this "plan" but future military planners ought to take note. This is likely to gut the Guard and Reserves so you best not be counting on them to fill your ranks if/when you need them.

Posted by: ET on January 11, 2007 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "Our brave men and women serving in our nation's forces (the most noble serving one can ascribe to) signed their names on the dotted line. They knew what they were getting into. That means if their country calls them to duty immediately after serving one or two times."

"Shanna, they bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash." -- TV Commentator Jack Kirkpatrick (William Tregoe), Airplane! (1980)

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 11, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Napoleon's army spent a brutal hell in Russia's winter.

Hey, now, there's an apt comparison. Our campaign in Iraq is as idiotic, hubristic, and doomed as Napoleon's in Russia.

Message to US servicemen: desert and flee, as fast as you can.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 11, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Sour grapes, fellas. Sour grapes. And the American people sense it. That's why your political power is shakey. Everyone senses it. You guys can't even effect the Iraq pull-out you want so badly.

Posted by: egbert on January 11, 2007 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

With US forces being pulled out of Afghanistan for the Baghdad surge, why is nobody pursuing the "Bush is cutting and running in Afghanistan" meme?

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 11, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Napoleon's army spent a brutal hell winter in Russia"

Interesting comparison - A megalomaniac led his troops into disaster in Russia - Our megalomaniac is kicking back in front of the big screen TV for the kickoff of Operation Case White II - the replay of another megalomaniac's invsion of Poland.

Three Megas in a pod. Now, if he would only go to Baghdad and emulate a real leader, Alexander the Great.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 11, 2007 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting aside on Olbermann and Scarborough about some Army brass stopping the implementation of a anti-rpg program from the Isrealis - The brass is waiting for the Raytheon system to go online in 2011 - Just get through two more tours guys and gals, and we'll get you that system for you. No money exchanged with the Army brass, no siree. Large screen plasmas, perhaps?

Posted by: stupid git on January 11, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Now, if he would only go to Baghdad and emulate a real leader, Alexander the Great."

What, drink himself to death?

Posted by: rea on January 11, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe

"I assume that a crash effort to increase the size of the US military by 50% could succeed within 2 years, if we were on a WW2-type footing."

-I'm not sure this is the case - setting aside recruiting issues, it takes a long time to train soldiers (something like six months for a new infantry lieutenant, assuming no delays between schools), and there's only so much room in the training pipeline. I haven't looked at in a comprehensive way, though, and it would depend on what form a "50% increase" took.

stupidgit

-There are lots of things to criticize in procurement, but there are legitimite concerns with the system\technology you mentioned. Don't get too wrapped around the axle on this particular issue.

Posted by: hotrod on January 11, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

egbert, you moron, even Republicans are turning against Bush and his failed war, including this "new" strategery--and they're on the same page as the vast majority of Americans who are against an escalation.

Maybe you aren't allowed to watch the news at your mental hospital.

Posted by: haha on January 11, 2007 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Alexander also got fucked (or fucked) his best general. Hmmm.

Posted by: Keith G on January 11, 2007 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert: "I think we are ignoring history. Think of the armies of the past. Hannibal's army spent years away from home. Ditto Alexander's. Napoleon's army spent a brutal hell in Russia's winter."

Nobody is "ignoring history", dipstick.

And speaking of which, as I recall, all three (Hannibal, Alexander, and Napoleon) eventually overreached and lost:

-- Hannibal was decisively defeated in 202 B.C. on his home turf of North Africa at the Battle of Zama (outside of Carthage) by the Romans under Scipio Africanus the Elder.

-- Alexander was forced from India by a rebellion of his own war-weary troops at the River Hyphasis in 326 B.C. (known in Greek history as "The Great Mutiny"). He retreated to Babylon (not far from Baghdad -- how ironic), where he died in 323 B.C.

-- Napoleon invaded Russia in the spring of 1812, crossing the Vistula River in Poland with an army of some 600,000 men. One year later, he retreated across that same river with less than 20% of that number, was decisively defeated by an allied host of Russians, Austrians, Prussians and Swedes at the Battle of Leipzig in the summer of 1813, and he abdicated in 1814.

Now, I think your mom's calling you home for dinner, so run along.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 11, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Keith G: "Alexander also got fucked (or fucked) his best general. Hmmm."

"I think the ancient Greeks were bisexual, primarily because it doubled their chances for a date on Saturday night." -- Woody Allen

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 11, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Gotta go, gang. I leave you with -- egbert!!

Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 11, 2007 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Time to institute the affirmative action draft: only underrepresented socioeconomic groups (like rich white kids) get drafted.

We establish a truly American fighting force and drastically reduce the liklihood of its deployment in one swell foop.

Posted by: olds88 on January 11, 2007 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Good stuff, Donald.

Now here is some real scary stuff -- An Israeli brigadier general is lobbying Democratic politicians in America and also Saudi Arabia to support an attack by Israel on Iran.

There is some real ugly stuff going on in the world, that the mainstream media is ignoring. Write your Congressperson and tell them to stop this madness!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 11, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Intelligence Report--Parade -- January 7, 2007. TOP IRAQIS FLEE BAGHDAD. MORE AND MORE ARE VOTING WITH THEIR FEET. What do you think of that , my lady friend asks ? It's not my job , I reply ; where's the sports page. Well , now , ole buddy ;thats not my job.
O. K . you win lets go for some brunch. I'm paying . I would'nt have it anyother way , my Lady replys ; and I
pick the place.

Posted by: TREBEL WINGNUT on January 11, 2007 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Egface


log onto GoArmy.com

and join you

cowardly chickehawk

you can read your history books when you're shitting your pants at bootcamp

Posted by: maccabee on January 11, 2007 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Let's link the escalation by President Bush to Senator John McCain, who, despite his advanced years, is the likely Republican presidential candidate in 2008.

The escalation is the McCain Doctrine now advanced by President Bush.

Further, we should note over and over that this now is a Republican War because the vast majority of elected Republicans support it along with the White House while the vast majority of elected Democrats oppose it.

The Republicans not only have failed in Iraq, they have failed in America as well by making this their war, rather than the nation's war.

Our troops find themselves fighting a war for the good of the Republican Party, not for the good of the nation. Their lives now are on the line for the Republican Party. Their blood is on the hands of the Republicans. Their blood is on the hands of Bush and McCain.

Posted by: art on January 11, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

...you can read your history books when you're shitting your pants at bootcamp...

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on January 11, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Many emotions here. We need to find a way to keep those wonderful young soldiers from being killed for no good reason. There is no good news here, but maybe, just maybe if this pooch gets completely screwed members of military families like Dan Greely here on CBS will wake up and stop blindly support Bush and the Repugs.

Posted by: Keith G on January 11, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

There are none so blind, As those who will not see

Send people who don't speak the language, share the culture, disrespect the religion and don't have clear objectives and direction. This from people trained as killers to act as policemen, investigators, negotiators, etc. in a place without essential supplies where long standing distrust and hatred have been whipped up to a fare-thee-well and appearance is a giveaway that you're wearing a sign that says "Shoot Me".
Sounds like a plan to me. ( That and run along sentences)

Posted by: opit on January 11, 2007 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

From CNN breaking news:

Explosion rips through U.S. Embassy compound in Athens, Greece.

Posted by: Keith G on January 12, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, why don't we hear from Americans more concern about the people of Iraq? The good ol' US of A smashed that nation, killing approx. half a million people and unleashing untold suffering on millions more. Do you not care, not even about the children who've been raped or machine-gunned to pieces by your glorious stormtroopers? Why do we hear nothing about the burden of collective guilt that must be shouldered by all Americans because of what you people have done to Iraq?

Posted by: FedUpWithYankees on January 12, 2007 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, are the senators going after the secretary of state in foreign relations committee hearings repeated now on Cspan. One after the other. Bill Nelson explains how he and Norm Coleman were in Iraq/saw that Shiite/Sunni violence is the main issue.
Nelson only agrees with dealing with Anwar province, advocates for a political solution in Iraq to get people together, asks Rice what is that political solution? Rice claims there is one, there has been one. She is filibustering to take up time.
Republican Voinovich says he met with reps from ten nations, the administration's plans need changed, are unrealistic--and, skeptical of additional troops in Baghdad, says we need a political solution between Shiites and Sunnis--says Sadar tells Maliki what to do-- we underestimate the hatred between the two factions-- Sadar wants a theocracy--The administration's plan is not what Maliki wants, we are imposing what we want on him. How much help are we getting from our friends in the middle east? It is just us.
We don't want any more of our men and women killed in a civil war, he says strongly, he doesn't buy into the dream anymore. Delusional, Rice says she doesn't feel the Shiites and Sunnis hate each other that much.
Barack Obama wonders why 6 months has passed, despite failures, Bush is putting more troops at risk. Rice refuses to speculate the circumstances where we would tell the Maliki gov't when enough is enough. Bob Menendez is eloquently calling Rice on her b.s.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 12, 2007 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Congress could blow a hole in this one. The Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States".

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 12, 2007 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Congress certainly have been presenting as unified in their disgust for the escalation in Iraq. They are ripping into boiled rice.

Posted by: consider wisely on January 12, 2007 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

Why do we hear nothing about the burden of collective guilt that must be shouldered by all Americans because of what you people have done to Iraq?
Posted by: FedUpWithYankees on January 12, 2007 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

Some of us feel it.
Others of us are not capable of such an "adult" emotion.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 12, 2007 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Congress should pass a Soldier Protection Act that would limit these abuses of our military personell.

Posted by: david1234 on January 12, 2007 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe those guard members with education benefits can enroll in correspondence schools.

Or maybe congress should revisit the conditions under which the terms of National Guard enlistment "contracts" can change. At the very least, I think Bush the idiot is proving that unchecked executive branch authority over the matter has the potential to destroy moral, enlistment rates, readiness . . .

Posted by: B on January 12, 2007 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Those who assume it'll take a long time to train the officers needed to relplinish our depleted officer corp are neglecting to consider the precedent set by our current commander in chief. A portion of his military record that managed to escape scrutiny during the election year review of his TANG experience is the fact that he received no officer training prior to being commissioned a 2nd lt in the Texas guard. There's the answer: rich boys from Ivy League schools are natural military leaders that don't require any training. Now, if we can only find a way to get them to join up we can instantly fill that void in the officer corp.

Posted by: Sparky on January 12, 2007 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Here's an idea. If many of the men and women in the National Guard get battle weary, get killed or maimed, this would be a good way to destroy the "state militias"--Not only by attrition but also by discourageing others to join. Thus the power would be completely in the hands of the Federal Military and its contractors.

Posted by: sanrus on January 12, 2007 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

Any really sizable increase in force levels will take about two years to implement, with middle leadership being provided by more rapid promotion of enlisted and company grade officers from the existing units. Operationally, the downside will be an overall reduction in unit capability for some 2-4 years. We can assume that certain "first responder" units will be kept at a higher readiness rate than those in the second echelon. Backfill of equipment will take about the same time. Promotion rates for field grade officers will be increased a few points, temporarily. They'll probably target certain civilian specialities with pay raises and such to keep us filling in gaps on the staffs. And we'll all have to put up with more contract augmentation on the staffs and such. ::Blegh::

On the upside (such as it is), any troop with his or her shit together is in for faster promotion for some time to come. My daughter is in her mid-twenties and is already an experienced civilian logistician. She can be an officer in 90 days and on the job in six months. Even with kids, she might crunch the numbers to see how they come out.

And I guess I can always put off final retirement a few more years. We can't leave the next Administration clueless, can we?. (Not that we can expect any better treatment from them, once the headlines switch elsewhere.) ::Sigh:: "Duty, then, is the sublimest word in the English language...."

Posted by: Trashhauler on January 12, 2007 at 4:56 AM | PERMALINK

Make that par-boiled Rice, Wisely.

Posted by: Kenji on January 12, 2007 at 6:33 AM | PERMALINK

And I guess I can always put off final retirement a few more years. We can't leave the next Administration clueless, can we?

If ignorance is your concern, Trashy, then you should retire ASAP.

Posted by: Gregory on January 12, 2007 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Here's an idea. How about if we stop trying to be the world's policement, and bring home our troops from wherever they are. Let those other countries were defending (South Korea, for example) do their own dirty work with their own people.

And pass a law that states "anyone who advocates sending Americans into war in any media is considered to have enlisted from that point forward, and shall be among the first deployed".

Posted by: CN on January 12, 2007 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler: you're still alive!

Hopefully, the clueless factor will drop somewhat.

Posted by: jackohearts on January 12, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

The volunteers in the armed forces indentured themselves to serve without coercion. I am sorry for their pain and suffering. I just wish they would refrain from passing along any pain and suffering to the Iraqi people as a US policy.

Posted by: Brojo on January 12, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

My nine year old son's best friend had an awsome Christmas this year. You see, his father returned from a year in Al Anbar province this fall. About a dozen guys in his unit weren't so lucky. Fortunately, for him and his family, he did his time and he was out - couldn't be sent back.

Funny how a draft-dodging, deserter and coward can just change the rules like that on people who have already sacrificed, isn't it? Tell me, when do Jenna and Barbara put on uniforms and patrol Sadr City? When do the "have mores" have their taxes raised to pay for this shit?

Goddamit, where is the accountability???

Posted by: Chesire11 on January 12, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

how is it that the pentagon is able to manage these rules

one would think it was a congressional perogative?

Posted by: jamzo on January 12, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

the whole scene, given what we are permitted to SEE regarding military truths on the ground, is something to consider. we already know they are telling us nothing, and now we find out theyre adding more troops, without a reasonable questioning of the media, "where will troops come from in the future if the social contractt between commander in chief and soldiers at large, is destroyed?"
of course if the surge mission is designed simply to get iran to attack, (or for us to attack ourselves, [911 style] and BLAME iran)... well,
im sure if we get attacked" again, espeically a huge attack, there will be no shortage of new recruits, and of much higher age, as well.
unemployment in the NEXT 20 years, 20 million foriegners begging for citizenship?...
oh, and i read in a paper in manhattan yesterday, the eleventh, that 800,000 NEW middle and upper middle class recruits were accepted in the last two weeks.. is this factoid bullshit, or might there be something to it?... i read this in a paper called THE ONION, a paper ive never heard of, so perhaps this paper itself is crap?
id like to see more info on the onion, and on the report that a whole new class of future recruits is well on its way to plan for SOMETHING down the road....

Posted by: boo on January 12, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

WHAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS DOING TO OUR OWN TROOPS, NOT EVEN TO MENTION DEPLETED URANIUM USE IN THE BATTLE ZONE, im just referring to these rediculous long tours, and repeated tours....
THIS ALONE IS A WAR CRIME OF ITS OWN!

Posted by: boo on January 12, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

how genius...
send em all overseas, so when the next fake attack on america takes place, not only will the govt have an excuse why they've katrina'd us ONCE AGAIN, but it will inspire 15 yr olds to want to join the forces down the road.
kid yrself not, the real target is collapsing the usa, so this global crap can really take hold!

Posted by: BOO on January 12, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

There's a Biblical precedence for this, after all. After King David got Bathsheba pregnant, he needed to get rid of her husband, Uriah. He did this by ordering him to be placed in the front of the fiercest fighting (2 Samuel 11:15). It was clear that David was willing to have others in his army die in an unnecessarily risky attack, just so Uriah would be killed (2 Samuel 11:20-21).

In the same way, our military is being ordered to send soldiers through one tour of duty after another in order to conceal the misdeeds of our president.

Posted by: Daniel Kim on January 13, 2007 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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