The head of the Army Reserve has sent a sharply worded memo to other military leaders expressing "deepening concern" about the continued readiness of his troops, who have been used heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan, and warning that his branch of 200,000 soldiers "is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force."
In the memo, dated Dec. 20, Lt. Gen. James R. "Ron" Helmly lashed out at what he said were outdated and "dysfunctional" policies on mobilizing and managing the force. He complained that his repeated requests to adjust the policies to current realities have been rebuffed by Pentagon authorities.
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"The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you of the Army Reserve's inability . . . to meet mission requirements" associated with Iraq and Afghanistan "and to reset and regenerate its forces for follow-on and future missions," he wrote.
"I do not wish to sound alarmist," he added. "I do wish to send a clear, distinctive signal of deepening concern."
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Highlighting the dwindling number of Reserve troops available for future deployments, Helmly included computations showing that only 37,515 remain out of 200,366 soldiers in the Army Reserve.
Well, I wonder when they're gonna force him to retire, just like they have every other general who's spoken up. I've been saying this since they startred calling up Guard and Reserve units in large numbers. For those who would join these units (as opposed to regular military) it is the fact that it is part-time duty. Ain't nobody gonna sign up if they're gonna get sent into a war zone for 2 years.
Thanks to DemVet for the link. As Jo puts it:
Gimmee a "D"
Gimmee an "R"
Gimmee an "A"
Gimmee an "F"
Gimmee a "T"
And, unlike many of us veterans who remember 1968 and see the similarities in 2004, Kevin at Lean Left has a different take:
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But even if those fail, I do not think that we will have a draft. I do not expect Bush to remain in Iraq for very much longer. The Shiites party that everyone expects to win is running, essentially, on the US out of Iraq platform. When faced with a growing insurgency, the specter of civil war, and a troop shortage, some of the Bushies will be looking for a way out before the midterm elections. If the new Iraqi government asks them to leave there will be a faction in the White House who will want to take them up on their offer.
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