02 August 2006

In other late-breaking news, gravity continues to hold people to the planet

CNN.com - Army Guard 'in dire situation' - Aug 1, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than two-thirds of the Army National Guard's 34 brigades are not combat ready, mostly because of equipment shortages that will cost up to $21 billion to correct, the top National Guard general said Tuesday.

'I am further behind or in an even more dire situation than the active Army, but we both have the same symptoms, I just have a higher fever,' Blum said.

This crap has been going on since Kosovo. The Georgia guard, then the Texas guard, and every one since then, has been hit with a retention drop since they came back. It's even worse with units that are now on their third deployments in the last 6-7 years. This has been a problem since before 9-11. We were over-committing units loooooong before the war on "terror" (which seems to not include Irish terrorists, or Tamil Tigers, or Chechnya, or the Chinese government).
Now don't get me wrong, most national guard guys are more than happy to chase Al Qaeda around Afghanistan, but the ones I've talked to are mad as hell about Iraq and sick of dealing with it. They don't see Iraq as significant enough to put their lives on hold (again, for many of them) while the President invents emergencies. The national command folks act as though the National Guard should have expected to be gone from home 1-2 out of every 5-6 years. Try selling that to their civilian employers - especially if the guardsman is self-employed.

There's a big difference between defending the country and an expeditionary force exerting their firepower to bring about the deluded policy aims of a few over-thinking, underperforming bureau-weenies. National guard troops mostly signed up for the former, not the latter. And yes, they are smart enough to tell the difference.

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