The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Iraq and the reservists: where's the outrage?

My (minimal) understanding of the facts is that, following the end of the Cold War, a decision was made to alter the mix in the armed forces, boosting the proportion made up by reservists and National Guard. Evidently, the assumption was that a much smaller contingent of regulars would be needed from year to year, and it was cheaper to cover exceptional demands on manpower with part-timers.

Then the neocons hit town, cosy military satisficing went the way of Oval Office orgies, and the quest for world domination began.

P.J. Huffstutter of the LA Times today looks at some of the results, under the hed Far From Soldiers of Fortune.

A National Guard sergeant who was posted to Iraq for six months, spent fifteen, and will soon have to go out again, says he'll lose his farm as a result. Others have actually lost their businesses. Reservists in Iraq need to spend their savings to keep the family going.

The piece says that 364,000 have been called up since 9/11, but doesn't say what the number of those currently in uniform might be.

Large enough for me to wonder why the subject isn't making headlines all over?

Sure, they signed up; and the fact they did suggests a greater than usual propensity to obedience and forbearance. And politicians will be reluctant to appear unpatriotic by raising the issue; or give the impression of a covert call to cut and run in Iraq.

Even so...

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