'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Broken Force 

From the LA Times:

The burdens placed on Army reservists since the Sept. 11 attacks, combined with "dysfunctional" Pentagon policies hurting both morale and retention, threaten to turn the reserves into a "broken force," the head of the Army Reserves has told senior Pentagon leaders.

Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, the Reserves commander, wrote in a memorandum to Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, that Pentagon decisions extending reservists' tours in war zones, giving troops as little as three days notice before mobilizations, and calling reservists back to active duty after demobilization have strained the Army Reserves to the point that the 200,000-member force could be unable to carry out future missions.

Given the demands that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have placed on America's part-time soldiers, the Army Reserve is "in grave danger of being unable to meet other operational requirements" and is "rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force," Helmly wrote.

"I do not wish to sound alarmist. I do wish to send a clear, distinctive signal of deepening concern," the memo states.

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