Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On the road to Pinkville

The more things change the more they remain the same.
Rushed by President Bush’s decision to reinforce Baghdad with thousands more U.S. troops, two Army combat brigades are skipping their usual session at the Army’s premier training range in California and instead are making final preparations at their home bases.

Some in Congress and others outside the Army are beginning to question the switch, wondering whether it means the Army is cutting corners in preparing soldiers for combat, since they are forgoing training in a desert setting that was designed specially to prepare them for the challenges of Iraq.


“It tracks with what we should expect when we hurry the units up in their last three months” before a deployment, said Kevin Ryan, a retired brigadier general and former Army planner who is now at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Army commanders are compelled to make “economies,” he added, when an accelerated deployment plan forces them to compress some aspects of training.

ArmyTimes, 28 Feb 2007

"I don't know who I'm fighting most of the time,"

Staff Sergeant Joseph Lopez, northern outskirts of Baghdad
27 Feb 2007

"The same guys who sold us beer during the day were wearing black pajamas at night."

Rick Lucas, Vietnam riverine veteran
Relating his experiences in Vietnam

It's just a month early, right? Only a few corners are being cut, right? The training and leadership for units which are being sent early will be adequate, right?

Troops with not quite the best possible training, troops with not quite the proper amount of protective gear, troops rotating early with not quite sufficient time out of action sent on a specific mission to root out an enemy they can't identify and can blend in with the general population.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?

Or, has the US Army forgotten the events of 16 March, 1968?

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