The Times Stretches, Rubs its Eyes, and...
...actually looks at the world for a change. A fine, fine
article by Michael R. Gordon hits a lot of important points, but I'll give you the money quote first:
Dispatches: Sending the Guard: "No doubt the Defense Department projects that the occupation force in 2005 will be a fraction of the current troop presence. But that is what the Defense Department initially projected for September 2003."
Other good things in the article:
- Troops from the Old Guard, who usually handle ceremonial duties like military funerals at Arlingon, are being included in the next group sent to Iraq. This will be the first time Old Guard troops have been deployed since, yes, Vietnam.
- Military officials are worried that the large-scale deployment will leave the United States "strategically fixed," that is, tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan and short of forces that the nation may need to respond to potential crises on the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere. 8 of 10 active Army divisions are in the troop rotation plan. The remaining two are the one defending South Korea and the one that just returned home after taking Baghdad.
- Three National Guard brigades and a number of Marines are included in the rotation plan.
For months, soldiers at Camp Doha, Kuwait, have been wearing T-shirts that say, "Operation Iraqi Freedom: Mission Accomplished." But recently a new T-shirt has appeared suggesting that the mission may be more open-ended.
It reads, "Operation Iraqi Freedom: Established 2003."