Crossposted from Town Called Dobson
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The State of the Union Address is tonight and I dread it like a visit to the dentist.
Maybe I will be surprised! Maybe Bush will announce that his warmongering is a complete failure. Maybe Bush will announce the world's largest airlift to evacuate Americans out of Iraq.
And maybe not.
U.S. military planners have reportedly concluded that a large and lengthy troop buildup in Iraq will require a reversal in Pentagon policy. As it stands, National Guard and reserve units have been limited to two years of mobilization for the Iraq war. That means most reserve units that have already served in Iraq are ineligible to return. But according to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff has concluded that a significant buildup would require Guard and reserve units to serve additional year-long tours.
This cannot continue. According to relief organizations like Books For Soldiers the troops are ragged and morale is low.
And Bing West, Assistant Sec Def under Reagan agrees,
The issue isn't sending more troops - at least for a short time - it's what those troops would do that is different from what U.S. troops have been doing for almost four years.
West, an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, said he was concerned that U.S. morale could waver.
"It's basically the feeling that there's a reason (for escalation) and you can understand how you're going to prevail. That's very important," West said.
The Army and Marines try to give active-duty troops two years at home for every year abroad. But in the last couple of years both services have fallen short of that goal.
And we can't get them from the Guard. The numbers simply aren't there.
Ordering Guard units to serve again in Iraq could bring the nation’s governors into this already combustible debate, because governors share authority over the Guard.
In any case, administration officials said Tuesday that the first wave of additional troops will move into Iraq by the end of the month. That means that in the struggle between a president set on escalating the war and a Congress trying to stop him, the race is on.
We are in a miserable way and our President is just playing at war. His own little private war game.
And we all are on the front lines.