Stressed and Fatigued Troops in Iraq: The Draft is Not the Answer
From the Sunday London Observer:
Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis.
....[T]he exhaustion of the US army emerges most powerfully in the details of these soldiers' frayed and worn-out lives. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaints: soldiers talk about divorces, or problems with the girlfriends that they don't see, or about the children who have been born and who are growing up largely without them.
Some, including Colin Powell, say our army is just about broken:
The anecdotal evidence on the ground confirms what others - prominent among them General Colin Powell, the former US Secretary of State - have been insisting for months now: that the US army is 'about broken'. Only a third of the regular army's brigades now qualify as combat-ready. Officers educated at the elite West Point academy are leaving at a rate not seen in 30 years, with the consequence that the US army has a shortfall of 3,000 commissioned officers - and the problem is expected to worsen.
Is this just more of a prelude for Lute and his "time to reconsider the draft" comments? If so, we can't let it happen.
A draft would revive bad memories of the turmoil of the 1960s and early 1970s when tens of thousands of young men were drafted to fight and die in Vietnam. Few other policies proved as divisive in America and the memories of anti-war protesters burning their draft cards and fleeing to Canada are still vivid in the memory.
There's an alternative to the draft and it's one that would end the fatigue and reunite the soldiers with their families. It's called "End the war. Bring the troops home now." Someone has to tell Bush, "No more troops."
It's not that hard to do. Stop the funding. Announce an exit plan. Stick to it. Let the Iraqis finish fighting amongst themselves. It was never a war we should have gotten involved in to begin with.
|< A Win-Win | About that Force-Feeding of Gitmo Detainees >|