The Knucklehead of the Day award
This is going to be a controversial one. Today's winner is Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He gets the award for the sudden change in orders for the 172nd Stryker Brigade. The Army unit, with 300 troops already back in the US after a year in Iraq, more in Kuwait waiting for a plane home, had their tours extended by 4 months. All but 80 of the troops back in Alaska are now going to be sent back to Iraq.
More than 300 soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade who returned to Alaska earlier this summer after a year of war duty are being shipped back to Iraq, this time to the dangerous capital of Baghdad.TFM admits it makes military and tactical sense to re-unite the unit back in Iraq. But it also crushes morale(Both the troops and their loved ones back home) which is the life blood of the military. You can only turn disrupt people's lifes so much. And troops are affected by what happens at home while they are stationed in a war zone.
They'll rejoin thousands of troops from their Alaska-based brigade who learned last month that their tour was being extended just as they were preparing to come home.
The news is disappointing, even devastating, for families who thought their soldiers' war duty was ending.
The 301 Stryker troops being recalled will join more than 3,500 still in Iraq, officials announced Monday. The soldiers, known for their wheeled, armored vehicles, are tasked with an enormous mission: to bring order to Baghdad, where escalating violence is being described by some as civil war.
"From a tactical and military standpoint, this makes all the sense in the world. It is much preferable to reassemble a proven team," Maj. Gen. Charles Jacoby, commander of the U.S. Army Alaska, said from Fort Wainwright on Monday in a video news conference that included the Pentagon.
"The brigade needs these soldiers back," said Jacoby, who was surrounded by affected soldiers and their families.
I've rarely second guessed the military or Rumsfield. Here is an exception, but it was due to events at home not in Iraq. I'm ex-Navy and am familiar with military life, the trouble in Iraq has been ongoing, I just don't buy the reasoning things are getting worse. They are worse and have been so. We've got a war to fight, but we need to treat our troops humanely. They aren't robots.
It may be time to re-instate the draft. Our military is stretched and our gutless leadership knows it. We have a war to fight and we're asking alot from what military we have. If another crisis occurs, where are the troops to come from?
TFM thinks the 172nd Stryker situation was badly handled, feel free to tell me otherwise. Nevertheless, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield is today's knucklehead of the day.
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