Monday, March 12, 2007

Where do you find the troops?

Quite aside from the merits of "the surge" in principle, the fact is that the military is hard-pressed to find the troops. I have made that point here for the last several years. The army is stretched very thin and while the army is being increased in size, there is no immediate benefit for personnel availability. Hence, you find situations like this one at Ft. Benning where soldiers who are arguably "non-deployable" are being re-classified. Of course, the commanders do not tell the doctors to send unfit troops, they say, "Doctor, I want you to take a very close look at all the soldiers on profile and see if some may be fit for duty, even limited duty in Iraq."
Equally important, though not treated in this article, is a shortage in company grade officers, especially captains. Why? Because young captains, with one or two combat tours and leaving the service in droves. This is very well known within the military but played down in public discussions.

The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq | Salon News: "As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records."

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