Wednesday :: Apr 4, 2007

Bush Surges Green Troops To Iraq


by Steve

This death I lay squarely at the feet of George W. Bush:

On February 9, the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News reported: "At least 143 soldiers joined Fort Stewart's 1st Brigade too late to participate in a final combat exercise before their units deployed to Iraq. Last week, one of those soldiers - Pvt. Matthew T. Zeimer, 18 - was the first from the brigade to be killed when he was hit by enemy fire in Ramadi, the stronghold of Iraq's Sunni insurgency.
"Zeimer arrived at Fort Stewart on Dec. 18 after basic training and deployed to Iraq just a few weeks later. He missed the brigade's intensive four-week mission rehearsal in October when more than 1,300 trainers and Iraqi role-players came to the post as part of the most realistic training program the Army offers for Iraq operations.
"The fact some of the brigade's 4,000 soldiers missed that training raises questions about how well the Army is preparing troops for war in the face of accelerated and repeat deployments."
Two days before that, the same newspaper reported that "some Iraq veterans in the 1st Brigade have expressed concerns about their younger counterparts missing the mission rehearsal. 'The training was good but some guys came in after that. They're basically going straight from basic training into Iraq,' said Staff Sgt. Jason Massey last month, before saying goodbye to his family for a third combat tour."
At a late-February press briefing, White House spokesman Tony Snow was asked about reports that two Army brigades were being sent to Iraq without any desert training. His reply was widely quoted at the time: "Well, but, they can get desert training elsewhere, like in Iraq."
An 18 year-old kid, fresh from basic training, gets sent to the meat grinder right away and dies almost immediately without proper training. And he won’t be the last.

(Hat tip to the Nitpicker)

Steve :: 9:50 PM :: Comments (32) :: Digg It!