Surging To Destruction
Gates pushes the Army to the breaking point to maintain the surge:
The Pentagon will lengthen tours of duty for all active-duty Army units in Iraq to 15 months from the current 12 months as the military struggles to supply enough troops for the conflict, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.
Gates announced the decision Wednesday afternoon, saying the policy was meant “to provide better clarity, predictability and sustainability” of the U.S. military readiness. The secretary said Iraq deployments would be for “not more than 15 months” and that soldiers will return home to home station “for not less than 12 months.”
“This policy is a difficult but necessary interim step" until a return to 12- month deployments, Gates said.
If I'm Carl Levin, I convene a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing right away to find out how soon Gates anticipates a "return to 12- month deployments," and what those deployment levels will be in Iraq a year from now, and get it on the record. And at the first sign of "I don't know that, Senator" from Mr. Gates, then Levin should tell Gates to prepare for the funding to be limited in the FY 2008 budget.
Democrats are still fighting this battle on the White House's turf by letting Bush fight it as the Commander in Chief. They need to shift the debate to how Bush and the GOP are destroying the military, are negligent towards our needs here at home, and are intentionally shielding the wealthy from any sacrifice. Bush, McCain, and the rest of the Kool-Aid drinkers blame the Democrats for wanting to endanger us by abandoning Iraq. Yet our top priority here is to our own national security by saving our military, not ravaging the military by propping up a regime that won't make the tough choices for itself.
Similarly, Democrats need to cut off the credit card and make Bush and the GOP defend their choice of priorities. Polls already show that the public would cut the defense budget, and rejects Bush's foreign policy. Voters want action on domestic issues and a restoration of America's respect overseas. Democrats need to frame the debate as the central question for next year: do voters want unending war; or real security, universal health care, and a better future for our children? Make the GOP defend the upper income tax cuts and a rubber-stamp war machine for next year's elections.