Monday, June 07, 2004

And then there were 25,000.

Back in mid-May we learned that the Pentagon intended to transfer some 3600 soldiers out of Korea for deployment to Iraq. Now that number has ballooned to 12,500 by the end of 2005. No word on whether all of that larger number will be headed for the Middle East, but it doesn't take much imagination to see the writing on the wall.

On May 18 the General blogged:
beginning today up to 23,000 inactive reservists are eligible for becoming active; these are truly the last drops from the domestic coffee cup. The next step would likely be wholesale redeployments out of Germany, Italy, Korea and Japan for Iraq, plus more onerous active duty for the National Guard. If even this was not enough, a military draft becomes not only possible but necessary.
Another step down the road.

Oh, and speaking of "more onerous active duty for the National Guard" . . .
With almost 40,000 troops serving in the unexpectedly violent and difficult occupation of Iraq, the National Guard is beginning to show the strain of duty there, according to interviews and e-mail exchanges with 23 state Guard commanders from California to Maine.

The Iraq mission is placing new stress on the active-duty Army as it leans more heavily than it has in decades on the Guard -- which, with 350,000 troops, rivals the active force in size. That new reliance, in turn, is raising concerns about the Guard's long-term ability to recruit and retain troops, and it is provoking more immediate worries in states that rely on the Guard to deal with fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

. . . As active-duty troops leave Iraq after tours of a year or more, they are often replaced by Guard troops, with the result that almost one-third of the 125,000 Army troops now in Iraq are from the Guard.
So make that "two steps".

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