Friday, October 16, 2009


Ralph Peters in today's New York Post:

Wearing Out America's Warriors

... The Army's tough. But after years of voices crying wolf for political purposes, there's real trouble looming on the personnel front....

With no end in sight and an indecisive government unwilling to make tough choices, we're in danger of burning out our best -- the men and women we'll need for tomorrow's wars.

... Two-thirds of our active-duty soldiers have served at least one combat tour, while many have two, three or even four tours under their belts. The other third? Those are new soldiers waiting their turn to go to war, plus individuals in specialized assignments.

You're either over there, just back -- or waiting to go.

... Sending another 40,000 troops to Afghanistan -- whether or not it makes strategic sense -- threatens to break a machine that's past its warranty.

... At present, senior leaders in Washington worry more about the welfare of Afghan villagers than about the well-being of our military families. Yet even the bravest soldiers need a decent interval of time back home....

Ralph Peters in a discussion of stop-loss on PBS's NewsHour in April 2008, when he was a McCain adviser:

RALPH PETERS: Margaret, one of the reasons we've had so much success in the last 15 months in Iraq on the ground is because we now have experienced leaders and soldiers there.

And let's not lose sight of this. Those soldiers are re-enlisting at record and near-record rates....

Now, unless you believe our soldiers are mercenaries who couldn't get another job, that should tell you something. Our soldiers love their buddies; many of them love the military; they love serving their country. Not every American understands that anymore, but they do.

And I would ask you: If things are so terrible, why are we seeing record re-enlistment rates?

... let's be honest about stop-loss. This is sort of a myth of the left.

Every soldier who signs up, as you know, has an up to eight-year reserve commitment. The recruiter made that plain to me when I signed up as a private. I would serve -- I was supposed to serve three years active-duty, but they could call on me for eight years.

As an officer, I could be called back to duty tonight. It's endless, although I'd be more trouble than I'm worth.

Stop-loss is old. This is not a new thing. In time of crisis, soldiers can be extended. They know it.

And I'm really tired of people telling all the bad stuff about the military when our soldiers really believe what they're doing....

Gee, what happened between spring 2008 and now? Hmmm, let me think....

You know, most pro wingnut pundits at least recognize that their past writings and utterances are archived, and thus make some kind of effort to cover their tracks when they're doing a nakedly political 180 like this.

But maybe this is some sort of bizarre interpretation of a military code of honor. Sir, yes, sir, I did say the troops were gung ho when Bush was president! Sir, yes sir, I am saying that they're suddenly tuckered out now that that commie is in the White House! Sir, yes sir, I am a hypocrite!

Well, it's refreshing, I guess.

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