Beliefnet
God's Politics

Tomorrow evening, President Bush will speak to the country about his plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq. The question is, where will they come from? The military is already overstretched. The Los Angeles Times reported this morning that men and women in the National Guard and Reserve who have already served in Iraq, and returned to civilian life, are likely to be sent back to Iraq.

“The nation’s top military officials, expecting President Bush to order an increase in the size of the force in Iraq, have concluded that such a buildup would require them to reverse Pentagon policy and send the Army’s National Guard and Reserve units on lengthy second tours in Iraq … Under Pentagon policy, Guard and Reserve units have been limited to 24 months of mobilization for the Iraq war. That means most Reserve units that already have been sent to Iraq are ineligible to return. But the Joint Chiefs of Staff have concluded that a significant troop buildup would require the Pentagon to send Guard and Reserve units for additional yearlong tours.”

More troops means more casualties, more suffering for families, more losses of beloved ones. And without a new political strategy, a new military buildup won’t succeed.

And, in a very sad commentary on more incompetence and resulting insensitivity,

“The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action.”

Who will have the courage to lead us out of this disaster?

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