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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Announced Plan to Withdraw Troops -- Don't Believe it!

Recent newsreports about the Bush Administration's plans to make substantial troop withdrawals from Iraq in the Spring of 2006 accomplish several purposes for the Bush WH.

The supposed troop withdrawal would occur just prior to mid-term elections in 2006, and give Repubs something to trumpet in their attempt to counter anti-war sentiment during re-election campaigns across the country.

The stated intention to withdraw troops allows a fallback position when troop levels are actually increased because of necessity. You can hear them now --"we planned all along to bring the troops home, but now circumstances won't let us."

It is picked up by those they want to get the message -- insurgents and Iranians. If Dick Cheney has his way, we will be invading Iran before then from newly constructed air bases in Uzbekistan and other bordering arab countries. Don't forget we are still constructing at last count no less than fourteen(14) military bases inside Iraq -- which for all intents appear to be permanent in nature.

As more troops are required to accomplish the neo-cons' goals of dominating this oil rich strategic area, Bush will use his stated desire to bring troops home to temper criticism of his decision to institute a "temporary" military draft. (Using "temporary" in this case would appear to be used in the same way it was used to justify imposition of an income tax in this country, and you see that it is still around today).

These and other advantages accrue to the Bush WH and neo-cons as a result of using this announced intention to withdraw troops.

2 Comments:

Blogger RTO Trainer said...

At least one problem here isn’t the public, it’s those of us who are in the Army (and other services) now. Don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say; conscript soldiers have performed as bravely and as ably as volunteers for the first two centuries of our nation’s existence. However, the shock of the change from volunteer to conscription is not something I’d be willing to stick around for. And I’m not alone in that. A draft may well solve manpower problems, but you re very likely to be left with a very large, but very inexperienced military.

Just a few of the things that would have to change if we were to try to implement a draft:

Scrap all current Transformation efforts: You may be able to proceed with the Modular Force concept, but you’ll have to halt all changes and reformulate the Tables of Organization and Equipment (TO&E). This is because…
Increase Team and Squad sizes: Conscript troops have a wide variation in levels of motivation, education and initiative. To compensate, more oversight is required. This means more NCOs per troop. One SGT who currently supervises 5 or 7 troops would have to narrow his focus to 3 or 4. When you increase the Team and the Squad, you also increase the Platoon, the Company, the Battalion and all the way up. This means…
A larger and longer logistical train is needed: More troops means a need for more “beans and bullets” and that means more trucks, more truck drivers, more and bigger convoys…This by itself is a problem given current challenges in Iraq.
Bigger platoons also means different equipment has to be obtained: The Bradley, the workhorse of our Mechanized Infantry formations, is designed so that 4 of them can carry one entire platoon. Three each carry a Squad and the fourth carries the platoon HQ. You don’t want to split squads up (hinders teamwork), so a new vehicle that will carry more troops has to be purchased. That’s just one example of that sort.
In order to save money to pay for the larger Army, pay will be cut: And why wouldn’t they? When troops no longer have the choice to serve or not, any pay can be considered “fair.” At the very least, the raises that have become so regular over the last decade, will stop. I also predict, if a draft were initiated, all current troop welfare programs would be frozen if not halted and cut back. The volunteer service has been the biggest single motivator for improving living conditions, facilities, equipment…. No one will volunteer to be mistreated.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find your comments insightful. I believe the problem we are facing is a severe shortage of volunteer enlistees as long as we maintain present troop levels in Iraq. We either have to increase men on the ground or begin drawing down the troops -- otherwise we will "go off a cliff" as stated by General McCaffery.

I fear that the announced draw down of troops is really just repositioning of troops for the next phase of the neo-con plan to attack Iran. Controlling Iraq is not enough to ensure their strategic interests in the oil rich region.

12:23 PM  

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