Tuesday, July 20, 2004

National Guard personnel shortage

What'd I say a while back? From The Fixer:

[. . .]

Do you notice who they're planning to call up? Mostly Guardsmen. Watch how all the Guard activations will hurt recruiting. Ask any member of the National Guard why they signed up and they'll tell you they did it to help their neighbors. The Guard is a state militia and their primary role is support of the governor. The guard assists in times of crisis and natural disaster. Ask any of them if they signed up to go half a world away to fight in a misguided, unjust war. Then ask them if they're going to reenlist.

[. . .]

I done stole this from Glen at A Brooklyn Bridge today:

Double Dipping

Paul Krugman, among others, has criticized the Bushies for their creative accounting. Depending on the speech, they claim that x amount of dollars will be available for one thing, then a week or month later, they claim that same money will be used for something else. But then, graduates of the Enron School of Economics are rarely bothered by the fact that a dollar can be spent once.

Now, it would seem that people can only be in one place at one time. (Who knew?) The problem is that too many are not here.

SEATTLE, July 19 - With tens of thousands of their citizen soldiers now deployed in Iraq, many of the nation's governors complained on Sunday to senior Pentagon officials that they were facing severe manpower shortages in guarding prisoners, fighting wildfires, preparing for hurricanes and floods and policing the streets.


California fire and forestry officials said they were not using National Guard troops to battle wildfires plaguing that state, but they did say that they were using nine Blackhawk helicopters borrowed from the Guard to fight the fires. Some of the helicopters are bound for Iraq in September.

More than 150,000 National Guard and Reserve troops are on active duty. Many of the Guard troops have received multiple extensions of their tours of duty since the United States went to war with Iraq last year.

While Western governors focused mostly on wildfires, governors and other officials from other regions expressed a host of other worries, both at the meeting here and in telephone interviews. In Arizona, officials say, more than a hundred prison guards are serving overseas, leaving their already crowded prisons badly short-staffed. In Tennessee, officials are worried about rural sheriff's and police departments, whose ranks have been depleted by the guard call- up. In Virginia, the concern is hurricanes; in Missouri, floods. And in a small town in Arkansas, Bradford, both the police chief and the mayor are now serving in Iraq, leaving their substitutes a bit overwhelmed.

In Idaho, 62 percent of its National Guard units have been mobilized; the same goes for Oregon. In Alaska, it's 15 percent. People in the Reserves and National Guard tend to be highly motivated for community service; many are also police, fire fighters, and emergency services personnel. They're the very people you want to have around in a disaster.

I guess this is another part of our "sacrifice" for Optional War I. Homes and businesses threatened by fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes? Hey, America-hating scum, don't you know there's a war on?

Told ya. The Guardsmen are needed at home, not being used for cannon fodder in Iraq. President Nitwit doesn't get it. I don't think the moron even realizes exactly how this country works. He sees America as a resource area for his cronies in Big Business.

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