New rules regarding Iraq deployments are breaking the backs of our troops

April 12, 2007 | By | 2 Replies More

Paul Rieckhoff, who has already served in Iraq, describes the crushing burden of the newly instituted 15-month tours of U.S. soldiers of Iraq:

The current force level in Iraq is unsustainable, and is breaking the back of our armed forces. Like so many other choices made by the Bush Administration during this war, extending Army tours to 15 months is merely a half-measure move to cover up the much larger problem of a poorly planned war with an unprecedented operational tempo and a military structure that is simply too small to fight two protracted wars for five years.

This comment to Rieckhoff’s piece is a thought that repeatedly occurs to me: “As much as I hate to say it, I’m starting to think reinstating the draft is a good idea, as it would cause a lot of apathetic Americans to WAKE THE HELL UP!”

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Category: Iraq, Politics, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Susan Barnum says:

    I understand what you're saying about the draft. Right now, many people don't care about the soldiers because it's not their problem. If they felt that there was a chance that one of their family members could be sent over there, they would feel differently. If men (and perhaps women) were worried that at any moment their number might get called–they would feel differently.  If we were throwing volunteers into ovens or firepits, would they still say “It’s not my problem, they chose to join.” It seems like that’s practically what’s going on in Iraq. It’s like we’re throwing people away.

    I think too, that there is a big difference between supporting soldiers and supporting the war, but that a lot of people mix up the two in their heads. In this way, people believe that if they don't support the military action, then they are against the soldiers involved in the action. It's not the same thing. As a soldier, you're just the arm of a machine. I wonder how many Americans who say they still support the war really are making this error.

    My husband is deployed to S. Korea, thank goodness. He’s been gone almost a year and is due to come home sometime next month. I couldn’t imagine if he was extended even a month longer. My kids and I live in a great community, but without help from family. Our closest family is a 12 hour drive away. Our daughter has special needs–she's autistic and our son has a speech delay. I couldn't imagine him being extended even one month longer than his year long "hardship" tour. These deployments don't just break the backs of the soldiers (and they do, as a former US Army soldier, I know), but they also are hard on the families back home.

    My husband is deployed to S. Korea. We live in a great community, but without the support of family.  It’s been hard on me and I want him back home. There are others out there like me. Fifteen months to be without your husband or wife? That’s wrong, not just for the soldiers, but also for their families.

    This war has created a nation of divided people. Not just politically, but geographically. How many soldiers have left behind families like ours? I'm lucky. S. Korea isn't a war zone, so at least I know my husband is safe. What about the other men and women missing their loved ones, waiting for the awful phone calls?

    We need to hear from more of these people. They need to speak up. Let America know that children are suffering, too. Maybe that will help melt some icy war-mongering hearts.

  2. Erika Price says:

    I completely understand the mixed desire to reinstate the draft- it would make people truly recognize the costs of this military occupation. The average person can somehow ignore the massive costs in monetary terms, and they can ignore the human loss because, hey, the people over there went bravely off with the aim of protecting their country, of their own free will. A draft would shift the mentality; people would stop scoffing at death tolls and flipping to the articles on Anna Nicole. A draft would seem like a palpable, unacceptable loss.

    At the same time, as a 19-year-old who associates with many many draft-eligible people, I could never seriously want the draft reinstated.

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