Thursday, December 02, 2004

So, how long until the Pentagon simply moves the families of active duty soldiers to Kuwait and Qatar so these guys can serve in Iraq permanently?
The American military presence in Iraq will grow by nearly 12,000 troops by next month, to 150,000, the highest level since the invasion last year, to provide security for the Iraqi elections in January and to quell insurgent attacks around the country, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

The Pentagon is doing this mainly by ordering about 10,400 soldiers and marines in Iraq to extend their tours - in some cases for the second time - for up to two months, even as their replacement units begin to arrive. The Pentagon is also sending 1,500 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division in the next two weeks for a four-month tour.

. . . military personnel specialists warned that the temporary force increases, which are scheduled to last from January to mid-March, might last longer than officials expect.

"The department is managing the force as frugally and carefully as possible, but we may not fall much below the 150,000 level for more than a year," said Richard I. Stark, a retired colonel who is a troop specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.
It was quite common during the American Revolution for soldiers' wives and children to be attached to the soldier's unit themselves, on the roll, receiving rations, etc. Now of course nobody wants American spouses and kids living in Baghdad -- least of all the spouses and kids! -- but if the husbands and wives, moms and dads, are going to be in Iraq most of the time, avoid the family hassles and ship everybody to the Middle East. Dismantle the base housing in Texas and Hawaii and set it all up in Kuwait City and Doha. I'm sure the Congress would be happy to borrow an extra $1bn or so from the Japanese in order to pay for it all.

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