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Sunday, January 25, 2004
 
The US military impending implosion, revisited.
Def sends this link to Eric Alterman's Slate blog. Scroll down to find a lengthy letter from a frustrated and demoralized soldier. Some excerpts:
"...Medical Hold Soldiers of the National Guard and Army Reserve were kept in Barracks at Fort Carson, CO that were scheduled for demolition. Many soldiers got sicker during our stay there. The toilet facilities were mostly broken, and mold covered everything. Soldiers that could not stand or walk had to live on the upper floors. Nothing was done about the problem, regardless of who we complained to. Many of us did not ever get our problems taken care of... I know of several soldiers of my state who are still sick at home. They cannot work, but have not been paid by the Army for their Active Duty Medical Extensions. The paperwork has either not been done, or has been lost, or something. There are stories like this from all over the country...."

"...my unit was put on planes to Baghdad, and we began convoy security operations. We also undertook offensive operations against guerrillas in the Sunni Triangle..... We never had the Interceptor body armor, and at times we were low on ammunition, food, and water.... I am so proud of my soldiers. You should’ve seen them. They performed brilliantly, but God alone knows how we didn’t loose anybody..."

"...Training for this (upcoming-ed) probable deployment will be difficult without weapons, however. We have one rifle, one machine gun and one pistol for our whole unit, for basic familiarization training ("This is a rifle—the bullets come out this end…"). This is for an Infantry company with over 100 men. All the other weapons have been transferred to another state for their impending deployment to Iraq. We have been told that we will get at least a few rifles and a couple of machine guns to train with by Annual Training in June. Hopefully we will get new stuff before the end of the year, but the CO just gave me a blank stare when I asked about it..... May God help us all."


Not a very rosy picture of how our reservists and guardsmen are being treated, is it? And this isn't the only source for this depressing information-scroll down this blog for more. Stand by for a recruiting and retention crisis of epic proportions.
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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