GI Special C/o email@example.com 7.26.03 Print it out. Send it on.
GI SPECIAL #63:
“ALL DONNE; GO HOME” IRAQI
MESSAGE TO THE OCCUPATION
ON BASE OF FORMER SADDAM
HUSSEIN STATUE; May 31, 2003
BRING THEM HOME NOW;
A NEW MOVEMENT IS BORN
BRING THEM HOME NOW! STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
BRING THEM HOME NOW! is a coordinating committee of military families,
veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and others opposed to the ongoing war
in Iraq and galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless challenge to
armed Iraqis resisting occupation to "bring 'em on."
Our mission is to mobilize military families, veterans, and GIs themselves to
demand: an end to the occupation of Iraq and other misguided military adventures; and
an immediate return of all US troops to their home duty stations.
The truth is coming out. The American public was deceived by the Bush administration
about the motivation for and intent of the invasion of Iraq. It is equally apparent that the
administration is stubbornly and incompetently adhering to a destructive course. Many
Americans do not want our troops there. Many military families do not want our
troops there. Many troops themselves do not want to be there. The overwhelming
majority of Iraqis do not want US troops there.
Our troops are embroiled in a regional quagmire largely of our own government's
making. These military actions are not perceived as liberations, but as
occupations, and our troops are now subject to daily attacks. Meanwhile, without a
clear mission, they are living in conditions of relentless austerity and hardship. At home,
their families are forced to endure extended separations and ongoing uncertainty.
As military veterans and families, we understand that hardship is sometimes part of the
job. But there has to be an honest and compelling reason to impose these hardships
and risks on our troops, our families, and our communities. The reasons given for the
occupation of Iraq does not rise to this standard.
Without just cause for war, we say bring the troops home now!
Not one more troop killed in action. Not one more troop wounded in action. Not
one more troop psychologically damaged by the act of terrifying, humiliating,
injuring or killing innocent people. Not one more troop spending one more day
inhaling depleted uranium. Not one more troop separated from spouse and
children. This is the only way to truly support these troops, and the families who are
just as much part of the military as they are.
Bush says "Bring 'em on." We say "BRING THEM HOME NOW!"
Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along,
or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in
Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service
friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing
resistance to the war, at home and in Iraq, and information about other
social protest movements here in the USA. Send requests to address up
IRAQ WAR REPORTS:
Four U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq Attacks
By MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writer, July 26, 2003
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A grenade attack Saturday killed three U.S. soldiers and wounded
four as they guarded a children's hospital northeast of Baghdad, scuttling hopes a
widespread guerrilla insurgency might lose strength after the deaths of Saddam
Hussein's elder sons.
Another U.S. soldier died and two others were wounded later in the afternoon
when their convoy was attacked west of Baghdad near the Abu Ghraib prison.
The soldiers killed outside the hospital Saturday morning were part of the 4th
Infantry Division, which came under grenade attack in Baqouba, 45 miles northeast of
Baghdad. Witnesses told an Associated Press photographer that the soldiers were
guarding the hospital because some of their wounded comrades were being
THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
US soldiers stand next to their colleague after he was killed in
another attack on a military convoy July 16, 2003 in Baghdad
(AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Maj. William Thurmond, a coalition military spokesman, said three of the injured soldiers
were treated and returned to their unit, the fourth was evacuated to a military hospital.
In the second attack, about two hours later, an engineer unit attached to the 3rd
Infantry Division was attacked with small arms and rocket propelled grenades, the
U.S. military said. Two soldiers were evacuated to a combat hospital, where one
died. A third was treated at the scene and returned to duty.
The violence marred an otherwise quiet day. (!!!!!!)
A number of explosions and bursts of gunfire were heard in the capital throughout
the day, but there were no reports of casualties among U.S. troops. Guerrilla-style
attacks on American forces have been averaging 12 a day, according to the
There were also reports that shots were fired along the main highway leading from the
capital to the northern city of Mosul, where Odai and Qusai were killed in a gunbattle
with American troops Tuesday.
In Baghdad's al-Shoala neighborhood, the commander of Iraq's national police
academy, Brig. Ahmed Kadhim, was wounded while leading a raid on suspected
hijackers about 1 a.m., police told The Associated Press.
Kadhim's assistant, Capt. Mushtak Fadhil, said five other officers also were wounded,
one critically, when shots were fired as police confronted five suspects.
The hunt for Saddam intensified Friday with the arrests of 13 men believed to include
some of his bodyguards in a raid near the former leader's hometown, Tikrit.
"We continue to tighten the noose," said Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of
the 4th Infantry Division.
(Comment: Odious Odierno back in the news again. B writes: “This time the 4th
ID is hit. They use the same the-noose-is-tightening shit with bin Laden at Tora
Bora, and where the fuck is he?”)
Humvee Blown Up
July 24, 2003 10:21 AM ET
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A U.S. military vehicle blew up in a Baghdad street on
Thursday, an amateur cameraman who filmed the smoldering wreckage told
Local people said the explosion happened in the late afternoon in the capital's southern
Dora district. The cameraman's film showed the still smoldering wreckage of what
appeared to be a Humvee. U.S. soldiers cordoned the area and inspected the site.
There was no word on casualties but it seemed likely that no one traveling in the
car could have escaped injury. A U.S. military spokesman said he was unaware of
It was not clear what caused the explosion. U.S. vehicles have fallen frequent victim in
Iraq to improvised mines, roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenade attacks.
Latest Fatality Date: 7/24/2003
07/25/03 Department of Defense
DOD IDENTIFIES 4 ARMY CASUALTIES FROM JULY 23RD & JULY 24TH
07/25/03 Department of Defense
DOD IDENTIFIES 4TH DEATH ON JULY 24TH: VEHICLE MAINTENANCE ACCIDENT
3 US SOLDIERS KILLED IN CONVOY AMBUSH NEAR MOSUL ON JULY 24TH
ONE SOLDIER KILLED, 7 WOUNDED: IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE NEAR
ONE SOLDIER KILLED, 2 WOUNDED: IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE AT AR
07/23/03 British Ministry of Defense
BRITISH OFFICER COLLAPSES AND DIES IN SOUTHERN IRAQ, JULY 18TH
Ambushes Grow More Sophisticated
July 25, 2003, By Vince Crawley, Army Times staff writer
Attacks against Americans in Iraq‟s so-called Sunni Triangle have decreased over
the past month but also have grown in sophistication, particularly in the use of
remotely triggered bombs, the Army‟s 4th Infantry Division commander said
“When we count the number of attacks … it‟s been cut about 50 percent from June to
July,” Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno told Pentagon reporters in a satellite news conference
from his headquarters in Tikrit, Iraq.
However, the nature of those attacks has evolved, said Odierno, whose 27,000 soldiers
patrol the hardcore Baathist enclave north of Baghdad.
“Some of them have become more sophisticated,” Odierno said of attacks against
Americans. Specifically, attackers are making more effective use of what he called
IEDs, or individual explosive devices. These are remotely triggered bombs which
attackers have used against American convoys. They can be triggered by radio from 200
to 500 meters and by wire from up to 2 kilometers, he said.
However, such attacks are more widespread in other U.S. sectors outside his 4th
Infantry Division area. Odierno said he has the impression that a small number of
experts are traveling the countryside to help local attackers improve their ability in
handling the remote bombs.
(This is not good news for the troops. In place of random pop-up attacks, fewer
but more professionally staged ambushes indicate better planning and growing
Attacks a Constant Threat Along „Ambush
July 25, 2003, By D‟arcy Doran, Associated Press
AMBUSH ALLEY, Iraq — A flash shattered the darkness and a bomb blew up in
front of Sgt. First Class Mike Mizell‟s tank. Within seconds, a rocket-propelled
grenade whistled overhead.
“Driver, stop! Gunner, reverse to the left!” the 35-year-old tank commander from
Orangeburg, S.C., shouted into his radio.
For commanders like Mizell, the attack along the dangerous Highway 1, dubbed
“Ambush Alley,” wasn‟t unexpected. The goal on this patrol, like many others, was to bait
the enemy into attacking armored infantry units and draw them away from more
vulnerable targets. (Old Vietnam tactic, and everybody knows how well that one
“It‟s as dangerous as hell,” 68th Armored‟s commander Lt. Col. Aubrey Garner,
39, said. “But soldiers are willing to put themselves in danger to kill the enemy.”
(Unlike you, you worthless, loudmouth piece of shit. And they don‟t “put
themselves” anywhere. You give the orders putting your soldiers “in danger,”
don‟t you?. Why so shy about your tactic, staking them out like tethered goats to
get killed? That‟s your responsibility, isn‟t it? That‟s your fucking bright idea,
while you sit on your fat ass safe in hq. giving out this shit-eating boast to the
press. Clearly “the enemy” Lt. Col. Aubrey Garner refers to is Lt. Col. Aubrey
The gunners sprayed machine gun tracer fire a line of palm and eucalyptus trees where
the attacker took cover to fire the RPG. Two Apache helicopter gunships clattered in to
chase down anyone running away. The other pair of tanks in Mizell‟s patrol fired their
machine guns toward the spot, guided by the initial tracer rounds. It was impossible to
tell if any Iraqi fighters were killed or wounded. (And very wise not to go looking
to try to find out.)
The road links the capital, Baghdad, with the volatile area to the north and west known
as the “Sunni Triangle.”
The high number of attacks on the road forced the Army to move the 4th Infantry‟s Third
Brigade into the Balad area about 30 miles north of Baghdad in June.
“Every night, it‟s knock on steel,” said Staff Sgt. David Gonzalez, 33, master gunner for
the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment. Despite a month of regular enemy contact and a
few close calls, no 3rd Brigade soldier has been killed by hostile fire. (Just hang on, Lt.
Col. Aubrey will fix that deficiency.)
The attacks came earlier than usual this Wednesday night, about 11:20 p.m., just
minutes after the tanks rolled onto the highway. After taking hits but no damage from
homemade explosives and RPG fire, they circled back, hoping to draw the enemy out to
attack them again.
A U.S. soldier from the 1st Armored Division walks at the site of the wreckage of U.S. Humvees in Baghdad,
Iraq, July 21, 2003. A U.S. soldier and his Iraqi interpreter were killed and three soldiers were injured when a
roadside bomb was detonated as their convoy passed. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Mizell‟s tank was hit again less than an hour later.
“Contact! Contact!” Mizell called into his radio. “Engaging with direct fire! Yee ha!”
The Apaches overhead spotted two or three people running away, about two miles from
the site of the initial attack. The attackers had rigged artillery shells to fire at the lead
tank from the sides of the road.
Mizell‟s tank drove off the road to chase the attackers into the trees, but lost their trail.
They were picked up again by the Apache pilots.
The tanks sped off to the depot, but a room-to-room search yielded nothing.
Before returning to base, the patrol blew up a stash of enemy artillery rounds spotted
through night vision scopes.
Fifteen soldiers raided the depot again later Thursday looking for possible escape routes
and found an anti-aircraft gun, sights for mortar launchers, three AK-47s and more than
1,300 rounds of ammunition buried in the area, said Lt. Phil Blanchard, from Pittsfield,
Mass., who led the raid. The army also detained 10 men for questioning, he said.
“I always tell my wife, „The more we get attacked the closer we are to getting home,”‟
Gonzalez said. (Actually, Staff Sgt., the more you get attacked, the closer you are
to getting dead, but then you know that already, whatever you tell your wife.)
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Deaths of Saddam & Sons Will
Strengthen Iraqi Resistance Against US
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Adnan Abu Odeh, a former advisor to Jordan's King Hussein and one of the
region's real wise men, offers another scenario. He suggests the Iraqi
people see themselves struggling against two enemies now: Saddam on
the one hand, the American occupiers on the other. "Ironically, if Saddam
is killed as well as his two sons," says Abu Odeh, "that will accelerate the
process of seeing the Americans as the real enemy."
The dynasty is over. The dying is not.
What do you think? Comments from service men and
women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send
to the E-mail address up top.
Fourth ID Fucked: Not Coming Home
July 25, 2003, By Matt Kelley, Associated Press
Troops of the 4th Infantry Division have been told they probably will stay in Iraq
for a year, Gen. Ray Odierno said.
Indiana Guard Units‟ Also Fucked: Not
“It Gets Me Mad”
July 25, 2003, Associated Press
JASPER, Ind. — Indiana families who hoped their loved ones serving in the war in
Iraq would be home by September now are facing the reality that they may not
return before the end of the year.
The extended separation is straining family ties and in some cases breaking them,
the Post-Tribune of Merrillville reported Friday.
The Indiana National Guard has about 1,320 troops at bases in Kuwait and Iraq, split
between the 152nd Infantry, based in Jasper, and the 293rd Infantry, based in Fort
Both units are attached to the Army‟s 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq. Earlier this month, the
Army said the division homecoming planned for September had been postponed
indefinitely because of increased attacks against coalition forces.
Powers cautioned families not to rely on any of the dates being circulated among
the troops. “Their fortunes are directly tied to the 3rd Division,” he said.
Melissa Elkhart, president of the family support group for the 152nd, said “They are
watching one guy right now, trying to keep him calm.”
As other units from around the country have started to return after Operation Enduring
Freedom, the Indiana Guardsmen‟s families have mixed emotions.
“I see other troops coming home, and I‟m pretty happy for them, but at the same
time it gets me mad,” Holm-Hansen said.
Fresh Meat For Bush‟s Slaughterhouse
1st Cavalry Troops to Head to Iraq
July 25, 2003, Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO — Soldiers from Fort Hood‟s 1st Cavalry Division will join an
international peacekeeping force in Iraq early next year, Pentagon officials say.
Lt. Col. Dan Baggio said Thursday at Fort Hood that the 16,000-strong 1st Cav “as a
whole wants to go over there and do its part.” (In your dreams.)
More 82nd Troops Heading to Iraq
July 25, 2003, July 25, 2003 Associated Press
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — About 2,500 paratroopers will begin leaving for Iraq in
September to join 2,800 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division already there, the
division commander said Thursday.
Major Gen. Charles Swannack Jr. said he‟ll also go to Iraq with his headquarters unit.
The general said units will patrol with a show of force, guns mounted and at the ready on
vehicles because Iraqi attackers have been “selective in the units that they go against.”
(Translation: “Let‟s hope they go after somebody else.”)
Swannack also said that his soldiers have been trained in urban fighting, but can learn
from British troops in dealing with street attacks. He said they probably would enjoy
more the chance to secure an airfield or launch a full battle. (Translation: “I have no
idea how to fight this kind of war. Maybe the Brits on the opposite end of the
country can clue me in, somehow.” As for any soldiers in their right minds
“enjoying” a “full battle,” what world does this general live in? Not theirs, that‟s
OCCUPATION ISN‟T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Ordered To Babble Bullshit
July 24, 2003, By Paisley Dodds, Associated Press
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Terror suspects are turning compliant,
offering dozens more prime intelligence tips ahead of expected military tribunals, says
the U.S. general at the remote base where preparations are underway.
Soldiers heading into the prison camp are ordered to salute one another with the
greeting “Honor bound to defend freedom.”
The Press Reports The Dead;
What About The Wounded?
By Matthew Riemer, July 23, 2003, YellowTimes.org
And what about all the injured who go unmentioned? It's hard to imagine a
soldier claiming that his life was not changed forever because of the war,
but many have had their lives changed in the most horrible ways. These
soldiers are now paraplegics and cripples, blind and deaf, or learning to
live with artificial limbs. Are not these victims part of the "cost of war"
Breathtaking Idiocy Paints Target on Spanish
Soldiers Going to Iraq
Troops Wear 'Moor Killer' Insignia
Giles Tremlett in Madrid, July 25, 2003, The Guardian
A row broke out in Spain yesterday after the country sent its first troops to patrol
Iraq wearing on their shoulders the Cross of St James of Compostela - popularly
known in Spain as "the Moor Killer".
Patches bearing the cross, the symbol of a saint who allegedly guided the
medieval Christian re conquista of Spain from the Muslims, are to be worn by a
2,000-strong Spanish brigade in central Iraq, who will patrol the sacred Shia city of
While newspapers and radio stations reacted with astonishment at the choice of
symbol, politicians avoided the argument.
"If we start debating this subject the risks surrounding the mission will only be
increased," said a spokesman from the opposition Socialist party, Jesus Caldera.
(Caldera of course is a fake “socialist” who refuses to support the Iraqi resistance
movement. That‟s one way to tell a fake socialist. To find out more about real
socialist politics, go to www.socialistworker.org.)
Spaniards, unaccustomed to seeing their soldiers take part in what many see as an
army of occupation, already view the Iraq mission with concern.
The deaths of more than 40 US and British soldiers since the Iraq war was officially
declared over has increased worries about the prime minister Jose Maria Aznar's
willingness to help the countries whose troops ousted Saddam Hussein.
"To put the Cross of St James of Compostela on the uniforms of Spanish soldiers
supposes an absolute ignorance of the society in which they will have to carry out their
mission," fumed El Mundo newspaper in an editorial.
"It would be difficult to come up with any symbol more offensive to the Shia population
than this cross."
Senator Questions “Endless Deployment” in Iraq, Says
Constituents are “Concerned”
July 24, 2003, By Larry Margasak, Associated Press
Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said 19 nations have sent troops so far and 15 more
have agreed to do so, but that force of 20,000 to 30,000 won‟t be enough to reduce
the U.S. presence in the near future. (34 nations, 30,000 troops means an average
of 882 soldiers per. Wow, there‟s a huge vote of confidence in Bush‟s Bullshit.)
Senators returned several times to U.S. troop strength and the length of
deployments in Iraq, with Sen. Ben Nelson telling Myers, “An endless deployment
is causing a lot of concern.”
He said lawmakers are hearing those concerns from constituents.
Myers acknowledged that some nations want Islamic countries in the Middle East to
approve the assistance, while others are waiting for the United Nations to become
Resistance Concentrating Attacks on U.S.
(Comment: Three weeks have passed since Michael Gordon reported on one
dimension of Iraqi resistance strategy: hit the U.S. supply lines that sustain the
troops in Baghdad and other areas hundreds of miles from the nearest ports.
Time has confirmed his analysis “R.P.G. Alley, which follows.
The deaths and injuries produced by army drivers forced to do 90 miles an hour to
minimize ambush risk should be considered casualties of war, not “accidents.”)
July 4, 2003, By MICHAEL R. GORDON, N.Y. Yimrd
ARIFJAN, Kuwait - American convoys delivering supplies to the troops in Iraq are
being attacked more frequently than during the war. The insurgents have become
more proficient in their weapon of choice - the rocket-propelled grenade -and are
taking more care in setting up ambushes. An area just south of Baghdad has
become so treacherous that G.I.'s have dubbed it "R.P.G. Alley."
That is the sobering assessment of the American commanders overseeing the effort to
supply the 145,000 American troops in Iraq. I met with them during a recent trip to
Arifjan, at a camp there that serves as the logistical headquarters for the allied operation
across the Kuwaiti border in Iraq.
None of this means that the United States cannot supply its forces. The Americans have
stepped up efforts to protect the convoys from Kuwait, and supplies are getting through.
More importantly, the attacks indicate that allied forces are contending with a cunning
adversary, one that has studied the pattern of American military operations and that has
managed to adjust its tactics accordingly. What makes the situation in Iraq so difficult
for American forces is not only the perseverance of the Iraqi fighters there but
their ability to learn from their mistakes and improve their fighting skills.
"We are having heavier attacks now than we did during the war," said Maj. Gen.
David E. Kratzer, the commander of the 377th Theater Support Command, a reservist
who works in civilian life as an administrator at the University of Florida. "It is an
unusual day when we don't have at least one attack someplace on the supply
Camp Arifjan, which is functional though still under construction, is planned to replace
Camp Doha by 2005 as the principal American base in Kuwait. "As it turned out, this
became the central hub for everything," Gen. Paul Kern, the chief of the United States
Army Materiel Command, told reporters during a visit to Kuwait this month.
Traditionally, logistics has been one of those essential areas that the news media
generally overlook. But these days logistics is a more exciting mission than the
generals had hoped or expected. Had the allied plan worked out as anticipated, Iraq
would be more stable, the United States would be reducing its forces in the country and
private contractors would be moving more of the supplies. Iraqi truck companies might
also have been hired to help out.
But that was based on the Pentagon's earlier, optimistic and no longer operative
assumptions. In which that nation's institutions quickly sprang back to life while order
was being restored.
American commanders say the insurgents have improved their fighting skills in
several respects. During the war, officers say, rocket-propelled grenades were
sometimes fired from such a close distance that they failed to become armed before
striking their targets, and simply bounced off American vehicles. But now, as a result of
either training or experience, the Americans' attackers tend to fire from beyond the
weapons' minimum range, and their assaults are more effective.
The insurgents are also doing a better job of planning ambushes. These days, the
fighters often mount attacks on a stretch of road south of Baghdad near two Army
logistics bases, Elm and Dogwood. Instead of attacking the armored escort at the
front of the convoy, the attackers generally wait to strike more vulnerable vehicles
toward the rear.
"They are getting better at learning how to use their R.P.G.s," General Kratzer said.
A June 19 attack on an ambulance about 20 miles south of Baghdad, near Iskandariyah,
shows how the insurgents have put those tactics into action. The ambulance, which was
carrying a soldier with a badly sprained ankle, was being escorted by the military police.
The insurgents let the M.P.'s Humvees pass and then fired on the ambulance. One
soldier was killed and two were wounded.
American forces have taken a number of steps to protect their supply lines.
American contractors cannot risk traveling on their own in Iraq, so they are being
included in military convoys, which travel with armed escorts. Reviving a tactic
from the Vietnam War, the military has begun mounting .50-caliber machine guns
on five-ton trucks, turning them into gun trucks.
Helicopters are flying along the supply lines searching for potential attackers. The
military police are scouting for potential ambushes, and are trying to ambush the
ambushers before they strike. Much of the responsibility for protecting the supply
lines in the south falls to the Army's 220th Military Police Brigade and the Marines.
But there is no question that the insurgents' tactics have had an effect on the Americans'
plans to rebuild Iraq and reduce their troops there.
"We were hopeful that what we could do is turn more and more of this over to the
contracted delivery of goods and start a distribution system that we could turn over to
contractors and civilians," General Kratzer said. "All this is part of nation-building and
letting people go on with their lives. And we just can't do that yet."
“A Bigger Tyrant”
By MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writer, July 26, 2003
"Showing dead and deformed bodies on TV is not acceptable," protested Amer
Ahmed al-Azawi, a 55-year-old Baghdad merchant. "But the Americans are
criminals and unbelievers. We got rid of one tyrant and we ended up with a bigger
Oil Executives Snub U.S. On Iraq Investment
[London Financial Times, July 25, 2003]
Top oil company executives expressed concern about the lack of political
legitimacy for the U.S.-backed authority in Iraq, and said they won‟t commit large
amounts of money for deals in Iraq while the security situation is so dangerous.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Rumsfeld, Gen. Abizaid Open Fire On Each Other
[Philadelphia Inquirer, July 25, 2003]
Secretary Rumsfeld continues to say that U.S. forces in Iraq are not fighting
against guerrillas---he calls its “unconventional” war. New Central Command
chief Gen. John Abizaid says American troops face a “classical guerrilla-type
campaign” in Iraq.
The Empire Has No Spare Troops Left to
Invade Anybody With…
Democrats, Republicans Want More
Soldiers For The Empire;
Rumsfeld Opposes Increase
(Comment: Thanks to the magnificent Iraqi resistance movement tying
down most of the combat forces of the Army and the Marines, other
potential targets on the Bush hit list can breathe a lot easier.
Despite his silly posturing, Bush can‟t “invade” Iran, or anybody else with a
half-serious defense force, and everybody who pays attention to the real
world knows it--no troops left. This is called material reality. Facts are
By THOM SHANKER, New York Times, WASHINGTON, July 20
Of the Army's 33 active-duty combat brigades, only three are described as free
now for a new mission: the Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Lewis, Wash., built
around a new, lightly armored vehicle called Stryker; a brigade of the First Infantry
Division at Fort Riley, Kan.; and a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division that returned to
Fort Bragg, N.C., from Afghanistan six months ago.
Twenty-one brigades are now assigned overseas — 16 of them in Iraq. Of those
not abroad, most are already earmarked as replacement forces for other missions,
like the one in Afghanistan, are rebuilding their ranks or are on emergency
standby in case of a crisis with North Korea.
Officials said the National Guard and Reserves, which as of Wednesday had
201,099 members on active duty, would probably have to shoulder some of the burden
of any additional missions as well.
The Marine Corps could also be asked to share long-term peacekeeping duties, which
traditionally have fallen to the Army.
On Capitol Hill, two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee — one a
Republican, and one a Democrat — have been driving the debate, and both
predicted in interviews last week that Congress would support a request to
expand the military's personnel roster, even with the growing budget deficit.
The Democrat, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, said, "I think we need to make a
decision very quickly, within weeks, about whether we need to increase the end-
strength of the Army."
While he agrees with Mr. Rumsfeld that efficiencies can be found in the "tooth-to-
tail ratio" of combat forces to administrative and support functions, Mr. Reed said,
"We are going to be committed in Iraq in a way that we did not anticipate," adding
that the Afghan mission will require years to complete and the North Korean
threat dictates "a continued, forceful military complement."
Pentagon officials drafting plans for the long-term Iraq mission said proposals
were under review to mobilize two Army National Guard "enhanced separate
brigades," which train with the active-duty force and receive the most modern
equipment. They would still need extensive training before going to Iraq. Officials
said that a nine-month tour would require a yearlong activation and a yearlong
deployment would require 15 months of service.
In his most recent testimony this month on Capitol Hill, Mr. Rumsfeld said that if
national security required increasing force levels, particularly in the Army or
Marine Corps, "Obviously, we would come to Congress and make that request."
But "at the moment," he added, "we do not see that that's the case."
Mr. Rumsfeld did not say so expressly, but the concept of increasing troop
numbers — and costs — contradicts a basic tenet of his goal for military
transformation, which is to rely on new technology and rewrite doctrine to allow
smaller forces to attack with greater speed and deadliness.
Before asking for more troops, Mr. Rumsfeld said, the Pentagon is trying to
reduce commitments in Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as in Sinai, and may
reconfigure the way American forces are assigned in Germany and South Korea.
Pentagon officials who deal with personnel have also identified 300,000 jobs done by
people in uniform that could be turned over to civilians, he said.
One Pentagon planner said the Army was also considering whether to fill the
needs in Iraq not with traditional brigades under their standard division
structures, but to cobble together smaller units — battalions and companies — in
The debate is really one about balancing risks — the risk that there will not be enough
soldiers to carry out diverse missions or that current troops will not re-enlist after
repeated, exhausting assignments that degrade their quality of life and do not leave
enough time for training. The risk that money spent on personnel will not be available for
important new technology and for modernizing the current arsenal must be weighed
At present, about 370,000 Army troops are deployed in 120 countries, from a total
active-duty force of about 491,000, according to Pentagon statistics. Army
reservists and National Guard members on active duty this month total 136,835,
out of a force of about 550,000.
The Marine Corps has a total force of about 176,000, and about 20,000 of its reservists
are now on active duty as well, from a pool of 39,000. About 9,000 marines are now in
As of last week, marines were also stationed in Afghanistan, Japan and the Horn of
Africa and were conducting exercises in Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and
Australia, Pentagon officials said.
Cheney Pop Up Appears, Lies, Disappears
[Washington Post, July 25, 2003]
Vice President Cheney began a White House attack against critics of the
administration‟s handling of the Iraq war, saying that not confronting Saddam Hussein
would have been “irresponsible in the extreme” and could have endangered the U.S.
AFGHANISTAN: THE FORGOTTEN WAR
Afghan War Gets Really Big Coverage
“A U.S. base came under attack in northern Afghanistan, and a B-52 hit assailants.”
(Wall St. Journal July 25, 2003) (That‟s the whole story!)
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