Thursday, May 27, 2004


Setting oneself up for disappointment.

Rumors are rampant here in our little community. The rumor says our guys will be back earlier than we thought.

Pardon me if I am skeptical and pessimistic.

Apparently some folks "heard" the President more or less say it in his 5 point plan speech this week. Well, here is exactly what he said:
Our commanders had estimated that a troop level below 115,000 would be sufficient at this point in the conflict. Given the recent increase in violence, we'll maintain our troop level at the current 138,000 as long as necessary. This has required extended duty for the 1st Armored Division and the 2nd Light Cavalry Regiment -- 20,000 men and women who were scheduled to leave Iraq in April. Our nation appreciates their hard work and sacrifice, and they can know that they will be heading home soon. General Abizaid and other commanders in Iraq are constantly assessing the level of troops they need to fulfill the mission. If they need more troops, I will send them.
Now one man's "soon" is another's eon...but let's look closely at what the President said. In the same paragraph he indicates there are two options for force levels. One is to remain steady, the other is to go up. If they decide to go up, sorry, its too late to get the not-yet-moving guys here to replace us.

If troop levels stay the same, then those who were already alerted early to come take our place would have needed to be told to arrive in Baghdad in mid-June to make that happen. Meaning they'd pretty much need to be hitting the ports of Kuwait right now, in my estimation. Don't see that happening either.

We just read about 1st Armor Division participating in the renewed R&R program slated to kick off about 15 June. That is one month prior to our slated release date...which is kind of silly. So, I ask myself why would planners be working on a 1AD R&R rotation so a troop can go home for 2 weeks, three weeks before the unit is slated to leave Baghdad.

Redeployment takes many hands. The equipment must be scrubbed of sand and vermin to the satisfaction of customs inspectors. Can't see cutting a lot of troops loose before that is in place.

So, yeah...I'll rain on this parade, all the time hoping I'm as wrong as I've ever been.

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