Thursday, May 10, 2007

The enemy within

The phrase, "told you so," pops up a lot when it comes to discussion surrounding things the Bush administration promises or claims is a goal. Even Republicans have stopping swallowing. No one believes administration nonsense anymore, except when it comes to them promising never to withdraw troops from Iraq.

On April 11, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced a new deployment schedule, with extended deployment periods of up to 15 months and "guaranteed" 12 month "dwell time," i.e. at home rest. This rest period, as described by Gates, would
provide some long-term predictability for the soldiers and their families … particularly guaranteeing that they will be at home for a full 12 months.
I expected that this was entirely disingenuous, designed to placate immediate negative reactions:
the "guarantee" is risible. The DoD have been changing their deployment rules, recruiting rules, moral waiver rules, "as necessary," for so long now, no one can remember what the original "guarantees" even were.
Well, one day shy of a month from that announcement, the predictable reneger has been made manifest.
Members of the 1st Armored Division’s 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, Company A, learned Tuesday that they are scheduled to head back to Iraq in November, just nine months after the 150-soldier company left the combat zone in February after a 13-month deployment.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman indicated that the 12-month rest period between deployments “is a goal,” not a guarantee. Considering how well this administration, and particularly the DoD, has met previous goals, this is hardly a promising statement for US service personnel. The troops probably already knew that such a promise was more like a dream than anything. And let's remember that Gates originally justified the extended battle field deployments with this "guaranteed" 12 month rest because it would will give soldiers a timetable that is, and I quote, "more predictable" and "reliable."

So, there is the final equation for US troops: no guarantee, no predictability, no reliability of anything other than of being assured that their tired asses will wind up back in Iraq definitely at some point, and probably sooner rather than later.

The Bush administration continues to be the single most destructive force the US military has ever encountered.


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