"Four More Years": A New Use of the Term

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Ralph
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"Four More Years": A New Use of the Term

Post by Ralph » Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:38 pm

Top general: Army preparing for 4 more years
Troop level in Iraq would remain the same thru 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Army is making plans to keep the current number of soldiers in Iraq -- well over 100,000 -- for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday.

In an Associated Press interview, Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the "worst case" in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq. He said the number could be adjusted lower, if called for, by slowing troop rotation or by shortening tours for soldiers.

Schoomaker said commanders in Iraq and others will decide how many troops will be needed next year and beyond. His responsibility, he said, is to provide them, trained and equipped.

About 138,000 U.S. troops, including about 25,000 Marines, are in Iraq.

"We are now into '07-'09 in our planning," Schoomaker said, having completed work on the set of combat and support units that will be rotated into Iraq over the coming year for 12-month tours of duty.

Schoomaker's comments come amid indications from officials of President George W. Bush's administration and from commanders in Iraq that the size of the U.S. force could be scaled back next year, if certain conditions are achieved.

Among those conditions: an Iraqi constitution must be drafted in coming days; it must be approved in a national referendum; and elections must be held for a new government under that charter. (Full story)

Schoomaker, who spoke aboard an Army jet on the trip back to Washington from Kansas City, Missouri, made no predictions about the pace of political progress in Iraq. But he said he was confident the Army could continue to provide the current number of forces to fight the insurgency for many more years.

He was in Kansas City on Friday for a dinner held by the Military Order of the World Wars, a veterans organization.

"We're staying 18 months to two years ahead of ourselves" in planning which active-duty and National Guard and Reserve units will be deployed to meet the commanders' needs, Schoomaker said in the interview.
Revised troop rotations

The Army has changed the way it rotates troops.

Instead of sending a full complement of replacement forces each 12-month cycle, it is stretching out the rotation over two years.

The current rotation, for 2005-07, will overlap with the 2006-08 replacements. Beyond that, the Army is piecing together the plan for the 2007-09 switch, Schoomaker said.

With the recent deployments of National Guard brigades from Georgia and Pennsylvania, the National Guard has seven combat brigades in Iraq -- the most of the entire war -- plus thousands of support troops.

Along with the Army Reserve and Marine Reserve, the National Guard account for about 40 percent of the total U.S. forces in Iraq. Schoomaker said that will be scaled back next year to about 25 percent as newly expanded active-duty divisions, such as the 101st Airborne, enter the rotation.

August has been the deadliest month of the war for the National Guard and Reserve, with at least 42 fatalities thus far. Schoomaker disputed the suggestion by some that the Guard and Reserve units are not fully prepared for the hostile environment of Iraq.

"I'm very confident that there is no difference in the preparation" of active-duty soldiers and the reservists, who normally train one weekend a month and two weeks each summer, unless they are mobilized. Once called to active duty, they go through the same training as active-duty units.

In internal surveys some in the reserve forces have indicated to Army leaders that they think they are spending too much time in pre-deployment training, not too little, Schoomaker said.

"Consistently, what we've been (hearing) is, `We're better than you think we are, and we could do this faster,' " he said. "I can promise you that we're not taking any risk in terms of what we're doing to prepare people."
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:51 pm

I'm waiting to see how long before the current occupant of the seat of Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt sends his usual stooge to explain that everything is ok because without the current policy gas prices would have risen even more than 50 cents a gallon over the last summer. And means it with a straight face. The boob has probably forgotten that he can't be re-elected in 2008. Even Ronald Reagan did not far so fall short of normal intelligence.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Aug 21, 2005 12:38 am

Finally, someone talking sense about the Iraq troop committment.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Aug 21, 2005 12:49 am

Corlyss_D wrote:Finally, someone talking sense about the Iraq troop committment.
Why, thank you, Thing. 8) :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:40 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Finally, someone talking sense about the Iraq troop committment.
Why, thank you, Thing. 8) :)
:lol: :lol: :lol: Would you move slightly to the left, John? My compliment intended for the author of the article hit you instead.
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Post by Ralph » Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:13 am

In this interview the general does not address how the Army will meet its commitment in terms of both recruitment and retention. At the least the likelihood of a continued deployment at current levels for four years is not a spur to recruitment. The Army now concedes it will not meet its goal for this year and the Marines are having trouble too. And people simply aren't joining the National Guard in anywhere near the required numbers.

Last week a fifteen-year-old close friend of Teddy was approached by two Marine recruiters while he was browsing in the local Barnes & Noble. They tried to interest him in enlisting after graduation. Finding out he was an all-AP studen t aiming for the Ivies they lost interest. They were last seen trying to strike up conversation in the store's cafe with a quartet of IPod toting teens.

If recruiters have to troll bookstore aisles just to meet potential enlistees there is a major problem, even a crisis. I can tell you that during Vietnam with all the protests recruiters had little problem meeting their monthly goals. Of course then we had the term "Draft Induced Volunteers."

It may be realistic for GEN Schoomaker to admit the obvious: there's is no early exit from Iraq. Whether the American people will buy that is another matter.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:21 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Finally, someone talking sense about the Iraq troop committment.
Why, thank you, Thing. 8) :)
:lol: :lol: :lol: Would you move slightly to the left, John? My compliment intended for the author of the article hit you instead.
I knew that--I thought it might be a case of "if the shoe fits." :lol:

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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:27 am

Ralph wrote:In this interview the general does not address how the Army will meet its commitment in terms of both recruitment and retention. At the least the likelihood of a continued deployment at current levels for four years is not a spur to recruitment. The Army now concedes it will not meet its goal for this year and the Marines are having trouble too. And people simply aren't joining the National Guard in anywhere near the required numbers.

Last week a fifteen-year-old close friend of Teddy was approached by two Marine recruiters while he was browsing in the local Barnes & Noble. They tried to interest him in enlisting after graduation. Finding out he was an all-AP studen t aiming for the Ivies they lost interest. They were last seen trying to strike up conversation in the store's cafe with a quartet of IPod toting teens.

If recruiters have to troll bookstore aisles just to meet potential enlistees there is a major problem, even a crisis. I can tell you that during Vietnam with all the protests recruiters had little problem meeting their monthly goals. Of course then we had the term "Draft Induced Volunteers."

It may be realistic for GEN Schoomaker to admit the obvious: there's is no early exit from Iraq. Whether the American people will buy that is another matter.
Here comes again the canard of "do we need a draft"? The whole point of your interesting story, Ralph, is that we never need a draft because we still live in a country in which we have enough excess labor to drink up at will because there is no clear other line of employment for kids who are marginalized by our PC one-track educational system.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Ralph » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:47 am

A draft is impossible for many reasons, not least of which is that its function was to secure large numbers of uneducated conscripts for a very large Army organized into mass units. We do not need and can not field such a mid-Twentieth Century force today.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:22 am

In case anybody is interested, 9/19 was 59 in the last draft lottery for Vietnam, an unsafe number. I was "saved" only because Richard Nixon abolished the draft, a step he took exclusively and hypocritcally to be re-elected. 1972 was the first year in which persons at least 18 could vote. The volunteer Army, dear friends, while a very favorable thing, is the product of the most cynical politics.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:33 am

jbuck919 wrote: The volunteer Army, dear friends, while a very favorable thing, is the product of the most cynical politics.
So are many of our best laws. That's why politics is defined as "the art of the possible." They still function nevertheless.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:50 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: The volunteer Army, dear friends, while a very favorable thing, is the product of the most cynical politics.
So are many of our best laws. That's why politics is defined as "the art of the possible." They still function nevertheless.
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The All-Volunteer force was inevitable, partisan politics aside. Twenty-First Century warfare is high tech and relatively low manpower compared to the great campaigns of the past.
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