Thursday, September 16, 2004

More on the Back Door Draft

You will recall from earlier postings that the military has been doing everything possible to keep its numbers up despite the Iraq debacle -- including (1) issuing "stop loss" orders so that people are forced to spend a year in Iraq even if they were due to muster out, (2) withdrawing huge numbers of troops from Korea and the European theater for redeployment in "hot spots," and (3) calling up the "individual ready reserve," which is the reservists whose active enlistment is up.

Technique (4) has just been announced:

"Soldiers from a Fort Carson combat unit say they have been issued an ultimatum - re-enlist for three more years or be transferred to other units expected to deploy to Iraq. "

Remember: if you get designated for Iraq, you have to spend 15 months in the Army from that day forward, including a full year in Iraq itself. No matter that you were set to muster out, say, next week -- it's a full fifteen-month commitment. "Stop loss." As in, "we have to stop the loss of all the people that are fleeing the military for good reason."

The Army's response is that they never actually said that the soldiers would be sent to Iraq. Rather, they said that the soldiers would be reassigned to other units, and it was possible they could be sent to Iraq. The soldiers claim it was made much more blatant than that.

Here's the kicker, at the end of the article:

But some soldiers presented with the re-enlistment message last week believe they've already done their duty and should not be penalized for choosing to leave. They deployed to Iraq for a year with the 3rd Brigade last April.

"I don't want to go back to Iraq," said the sergeant. "I went through a lot of things for the Army that weren't necessary and were risky. Iraq has changed a lot of people.''

And that is why Edwards got a standing ovation when he promised that the Democrats would not reinstitute the draft.

That's what's at stake. Four more years of Bush and there will be a military draft. Mark my words.

 3:25 PM

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