[Marxism] WSJ report on involuntary recall of 5600 soldiers
walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 30 04:59:48 MDT 2004
(This isn't going to be good for morale among
the soldiers of occupation as their numbers
continue to be picked off each and every day.
Furthermore, the enthusiasm of such people to
invade the homeland of the Buena Vista Social
Club may be something less than stellar, too.)
June 30, 2004
THE FIGHT FOR IRAQ
Army Sets Plan
To Call Retirees,
Others to Duty
By NEIL KING JR.
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
June 30, 2004; Page A5
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army plans to call up around 5,600
retired and discharged soldiers for possible duty in
Afghanistan and Iraq, the largest such involuntary recall
since the 1991 Gulf War.
The plan reflects a deepening shortage of U.S. military
personnel with skills and experience needed in war zones
and peacekeeping operations abroad. The call-up, to be
announced officially today, drew an immediate reaction from
Bush administration critics who contend that the Army's
active-duty forces must be expanded.
The announcement that the Pentagon plans to draw from the
so-called Individual Ready Reserves comes nearly a month
after the Army expanded the so-called stop-loss program
that requires thousands of soldiers to extend their periods
of duty until their units return to home base.
The Individual Ready Reserve consists of nearly 120,000
retired soldiers who haven't completed their eight-year
obligatory-service term but aren't part of active reserve
units and don't take part in regular training exercises.
The Army began combing through the list of such reservists
last month in an effort to identify people best equipped to
fill the need for specialty skills in Iraq, according to an
Call-up notices will go out to these people starting next
month and extending through December. The Army is in
special need of engineers, medical specialists, military
police and logistics experts, the spokeswoman said.
"This puts the whole question of the size of the military
front and center," said Dan Goure, a military analyst at
the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based think tank
specializing in military affairs and national security. The
tension between a shrinking Army and mounting deployments
overseas has been growing for years, he said, but "Iraq is
what has pushed this to the breaking point."
President Bush's Democratic rival John Kerry has said in
recent weeks that the active-duty Army is overly stretched
and should be increased by 40,000 troops. The Kerry
campaign's national-security adviser, Rand Beers, said
yesterday in a statement that the involuntary call-up "is
troubling news and an unusual step to take." Mr. Beers put
the blame for the mounting troop shortage on what he called
the administration's "diplomatic failure to get real
international help in Iraq."
The call-up would come just days after U.S. allies within
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization made clear that they
would contribute no additional troops to Iraq.
The U.S. has had little luck convincing other countries to
increase their troop commitments in Iraq. The U.S. had
hoped to shrink its troop presence there to 105,000 but has
had to increase that to 140,000 to combat the rising
insurgency. Other countries have contributed about 25,000
Army officials insisted that the ready-reserve call-up was
a small, one-time step needed to fill a personnel gap going
into next year.
The Army called up about 20,000 individual ready reservists
during the 1991 Gulf War. Since Sept. 11, 2001, about 1,100
of the ready reservists have volunteered to join active
units and be deployed overseas. Currently, the active-duty
Army totals about 485,000.
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