Thursday, January 11, 2007


About Those 20,000 Additional Soldiers...

Where will Bush get the 20,000 soldiers he plans to throw on the Iraq pyre? Pentagon abandons active-duty time limit

The Pentagon has abandoned its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty, officials said Thursday, a major change that reflects an Army stretched thin by longer-than-expected combat in Iraq. The day after President Bush announced his plan for a deeper U.S. military commitment in Iraq, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters the change in reserve policy would have been made anyway because active-duty troops already were getting too little time between their combat tours. [...] Until now, the Pentagon's policy on the Guard or Reserve was that members' cumulative time on active duty for the Iraq or Afghan wars could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months, Pace said. In other words, a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as an additional 24 months.
But if you ask the Busheviks, they'll tell you it's an "all-volunteer Army".
The funny thing, MEC, is that the people most in favor of the war are the ones who will never come within a thousand miles of it. Like certain banned alcoholic trolls we know.
I guess if you volunteer *once*, it means you want the military to own you for the rest of your life.

Their approach to military personnel is just like their approach to the budget.
Eli: Yup, that's exactly it. I know of doctors in their seventies who were called up and sent to Iraq. And there are plenty of guys in their fifties and sixties over there right now. (Yes, they're nabbing Vietnam vets. Even crazy alcoholic ones that beat their family members.)

One of the reasons that Pawlenty -- and pretty much every other state governor -- is freaking out right now is that Bush is illegally taking National Guard troops from the states without so much as asking permission. The states, not the White House, are legally supposed to control where the state NG personnel goes. And not only has Bush heavily relied on Guard personnel throughout this disaster, he's now going to finish the job of hollowing out what's left of the state NGs. If you're in the NG right now, or have served at any time in the past four decades, your butt is very likely going to go to Iraq.
This will have obvious detrimental effects on recruitment.

What they're basically doing is saying that if you enlist will be on active duty until you get maimed or killed.
Considering that all the soldiers signed up for duty of a specified length, including the Guards and Reservists, I'm wondering whether a case could be made for the "stop loss" orders and repeated calls to active duty to be violations of the 13th Amendment's prohibition of "involuntary servitude". (Probably not, or it would have been used to prohibit a military draft.)
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