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Thread: Pentagon Extends Combat Time For 4,000 Soldiers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Pentagon Extends Combat Time For 4,000 Soldiers

    Pentagon extends combat time for 4,000 soldiers


    WASHINGTON - The Pentagon on Monday delayed for six weeks the return home of about 4,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq's volatile Anbar province -- the second extension of U.S. forces in Iraq in two months -- as the insurgency and rising sectarian violence exert heavier demands on a stretched American ground force.

    A brigade of the Army's 1st Armored Division, operating in Anbar's contested capital of Ramadi, has been ordered to stay on for46 more days. Another brigade -- from the 1st Cavalry Division based at Fort Hood, Texas -- will depart a month early, in late October, for a year of combat duty in Iraq.

    "There's no question but that any time there's a war, the forces of the countries involved are asked to do a great deal," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said when asked about the troop decisions at the Pentagon Monday.

    Rumsfeld faced criticism Monday from retired military officers who accused him of bungling the war.

    "I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq," retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste told a forum conducted by Senate Democrats.

    A second military leader, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, assessed Rumsfeld as "incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically."

    "Mr. Rumsfeld and his immediate team must be replaced or we will see two more years of extraordinarily bad decision-making," Eaton added at the forum, held six weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections, in which the war is a central issue.

    Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the Armed Services Committee, dismissed the Democratic-sponsored event as "an election-year smoke screen aimed at obscuring the Democrats' dismal record on national security."

    "Today's stunt may rile up the liberal base, but it won't kill a single terrorist or prevent a single attack," Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement.

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, speaking Monday at the National Press Club, saidelection-season politics may be what's standing in the way of finding a solution to the insurgency in Iraq.

    The conflict, now in its fourth year, has claimed the lives of more than 2,600 American troops and cost more than $300 billion.

    The Pentagon announcement about the extended service said it was necessary to "maintain the current force structure in Iraq into the spring of next year." That confirms an assessment last week by Gen. John Abizaid, the senior U.S. commander in the Middle East, that no cuts in the more than 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are likely before the spring of 2007.

    It also demonstrates the increasingly tough trade-offs U.S. commanders face between the imperatives of fighting the war and the need to retrain and recuperate the taxed Army and Marine Corps.

    In this case, commanders had to choose between extending thousands of U.S. troops serving in one of Iraq's deadliest cities -- the 1st Armored Division brigade in Ramadi -- or requiring another combat-hardened unit that already has served two tours in Iraq, a brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, to return to the desert after less than a year at home. They opted for the former.

    The extension prolonged the hardship for the 1st Armored Division soldiers, based in Friedberg, Germany, and their families, who were notified Monday, the official said. The Pentagon statement acknowledged the "continued contributions" of the soldiers in Ramadi and their families, saying the "extension reflects the continued commitment of the United States to the security of the Iraqi people."

    Also on Monday, the Pentagon announced it would speed up the scheduled deployment of another brigade to relieve the 172nd Stryker Brigade, the Alaska unit. The 4th Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, originally scheduled to deploy in late October, will now leave for Iraq 30 days earlier. The 4th Brigade, based at Fort Bliss, Texas, will take the place of the 172nd.

    On July 27, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved a request by commanders to extend the tour of the 172nd, even as members of the unit had begun returning home. The four-month extension would have kept the Stryker brigade in Iraq until mid-December, prompting protests from families and relatives. The new schedule will bring the Alaska soldiers home before Thanksgiving.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    beltman713 Guest
    You know, eventually the pentegon is going to reach the end of their rope, and it's a long fucking drop.

  3. #3
    AuGmENTor Guest
    It's called back-door reeinlistment. A neat little loop hole they worded in to the contract you sign when you join.

  4. #4
    Partridge Guest
    So is the army the only job in the US that you don't have the option to leave if it's not all it's cracked up to be?

    Auggie: What are the chances of you ever being recalled?

  5. #5
    AuGmENTor Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Partridge
    So is the army the only job in the US that you don't have the option to leave if it's not all it's cracked up to be?

    Auggie: What are the chances of you ever being recalled?
    Yeah, you can leave for a variety of reasons. But you really have to want it, as it's a bit difficult (I imagine it's even worse now...)
    As for me getting called back? Not likely. I got out honorably by the skin of my teeth. Right at the end of my tour, they wanted to court-martial me. Orders were, an unanswered chalenge was construed as an open fire order. Meaning, if you shout, "halt, who goes there," and no one answers, shoot them. Well, I shouted it like four times, and no answer. I followed orders to keep any more of my friends getting killed at three in the morning. Really thinking that these people had to be the bad guys. I mean, I shouted halt in Iraq, as that was protocol. Long story long, I killed all four of them. Turns out, they were just guys trying to get food home to their families. Needless to say, I lost it for a while. When my brain came back, I was being investigated for violation of protocol. Basically a war crime. They tried to change the orders Ipso de Facto. I hired a civilian lawyer just to consult with the JAG lawyer (to make sure they weren't fuckin me) and suddenly, they forgot all about it, and let me out at the end of my tour.

  6. #6
    Partridge Guest
    That's fucked up.

  7. #7
    PhilosophyGenius Guest

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