The chief of the U.S. Army Reserve is taking the unusual step of warning all 205,000 soldiers under his command that the Army Reserve is "on a war footing" and will need to take tough measures to meet commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last, week, the Pentagon said the worse-than-expected situation in Iraq means thousands of reservists there will have to serve tours of 12 months, as opposed to the six-month overseas tours typical before the Iraq war. Counting the time it often takes reservists to get ready to go and demobilize once they return, some part-time soldiers could be away from home for 15 months or longer.
This gives reservists virtually the same burden as active-duty troops, who are typically assigned to Iraq for one year as part of the U.S. occupation force.
then throw them away:
The Third Division supplied more than 20,000 troops to the Iraq war, most of them front-line combat soldiers. They saw more action than just about any other outfit. Some of them returned to the U.S. only three weeks ago.
"America is grateful for your devoted service in hard conditions," Mr. Bush told the troops. Their applause was described as "polite." They probably knew that some of their units already were being redeployed back to Iraq and that they probably would follow in a short while.
"You've made history,'' Mr. Bush went on. "You've made our nation proud... " And he presented the Third with a Presidential Unit Citation for "extraordinary heroism" in action.
another story that ran the same day as the one about the president's trip to Fort Stewart. This story said that senior Republicans on the House Veterans Affairs Committee were joining with the Democrats in an attempt to keep the Bush administration from taking benefits away from disabled veterans.
Under the Bush plan, the Department of Veterans Affairs would disqualify about 1.5 million veterans, two-thirds of those now in the VA disability program.
Remember the Administration's rhetoric during Election 2000?
The former defense secretary today criticized the Clinton-Gore White House in harsh terms for presiding over an �overused and under-resourced� military. Cheney described the Democrats� record on defense as �Eight years of neglect and misplaced priorities. Eight years of multiplying missions and unclear goals.
�When you triple our commitments around the world, while at the same time taking the Army from 14 divisions down to 10,� he continued, �that, Mr. Gore, is �running down the military.��
�I do not presume to speak for the military, but I am now speaking to them,� Cheney said. �To all of our men and women in uniform, and to their parents and families: Help is on the way!�
well, Clinton-Gore's military was good enough to conquer Iraq. But no military could possibly survive the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld reconstruction afterwards. The era of the volunteer armed forces is rapidly fading under their watch.