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imperialism & war

Army Trying to Keep Troops From Leaving

About 7,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq (news - web sites), Kuwait and Afghanistan (news - web sites) who were planning to retire or otherwise leave the service in the next few months are getting new marching orders: Stay put... Col. Elton Manske, chief of the Army's enlisted division, said Monday that the move was deemed necessary... He did not explain why the Army cannot manage the readiness of its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan without forcing soldiers to stay in the service beyond their scheduled retirement or enlistment period.
Army Trying to Keep Troops From Leaving
2 minutes ago

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON - About 7,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq (news - web sites), Kuwait and Afghanistan (news - web sites) who were planning to retire or otherwise leave the service in the next few months are getting new marching orders: Stay put.

The Army is expanding what it calls a "stop loss" order to keep soldiers in uniform even those who have met their contractual service obligation or are scheduled to retire during a rotation of tens of thousands of troops that begins this month and is scheduled to finish in May.

Col. Elton Manske, chief of the Army's enlisted division, said Monday that the move was deemed necessary to maintain the cohesion and combat effectiveness of units now operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He did not explain why the Army cannot manage the readiness of its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan without forcing soldiers to stay in the service beyond their scheduled retirement or enlistment period. Critics say it is because the Army has too few soldiers and too many overseas commitments.

The order affects all Army units scheduled to return from Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan in coming months. Soldiers will be required to remain with their unit until it gets to its home base, and for a maximum of 90 days afterward, he said. The order mirrors one already in place for the units that are scheduled to deploy to those three countries to replace the units there now.

Manske said the Army also is using a more common management tool to keep soldiers in uniform: it is offering bonuses of up to $10,000 for soldiers in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan who are willing to re-enlist for three years or more, regardless of their military specialty.

The bonus program took effect on Jan. 1-2. The expanded "stop loss" order has yet to be implemented. Manske said it is expected to take effects "within days," but he had no specific date.

The use of "stop loss" reflects the difficulty the Army is having in keeping enough soldiers available to meet the Army's worldwide commitments.

Prior to the war in Afghanistan, "stop loss" authority had rarely been used; it is seen by many as being in conflict with the principle of an all-volunteer military in which enlisted personnel sign contracts for a specific period of service. It was first used in the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites).

Temporarily prohibiting soldiers from retiring or quitting when their enlistment is up can be a hardship for those who had made plans to leave the service, but it does not extend their unit's stay in Iraq.

The order also prevents soldiers from moving to new assignments during the restricted period.

Among the first combat units to return from Iraq, beginning this month, will be the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The other major units returning this year are the 1st Armored Division, the 4th Infantry Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the 2nd Light Cavalry Regiment, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and elements of the 82nd Airborne Division.

The expanded restriction also applies to the U.S. soldiers who are due to be replaced in Afghanistan this year.

 http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=6&u=/ap/20040105/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/iraq_us_military
Every war has a bad day Elton 05.Jan.2004 15:56

jlii

Col. Elton Manske, chief of the Army's enlisted division, said Monday that the move was deemed necessary to maintain the cohesion and combat effectiveness of units now operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.

How about no support at home Elton. You know about those long lines outside of the Recruiting Stations - No one else knows of them either. Hey Elton supose they gave a war and no one or not enough came.

Also the units you are bringing home are the first in, the cutting edge guys. You not being lead down the path to a third invasion by someone are you?

When you have to draft it means the people aren't with you. Dont start beleiving your own lies.

... 05.Jan.2004 16:18

this thing here

>He did not explain why the Army cannot manage the readiness of its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan without forcing soldiers to stay in the service beyond their scheduled retirement or enlistment period.<

duh. he doesn't have to if you're smart. there's not enough qualified soldiers in the u.s. army to meet all the pentagon's world wide committments.

this move to force soldiers to stay active is the latest in a long series of signs of a manpower shortage in the army. first tours in iraq were extended to double the usual length. then there were reports in the news about the military "relocating" some infantry units away from the DMZ front lines on the korean peninsula. funny thing is, they never said where the hell the units were being "relocated" to. well, is it any wonder where?...

stop loss= draft 05.Jan.2004 17:02

GPFX

Hey, these people might have joined up as naive impressionable kids, but now they have done a few years in uniform and know better. They want out. Forcimg them into military service is a draft, even if it is just a draft of "veterans" through stop loss orders. Feel sorry for these troops; they want to get out of the war machine, they have learned their lesson and they have reformed. But they are stuck like a reformed convict with years left on their sentence.

And those "bonuses" are crap too, it's a trick. You get taxed on the 10 grand, and then they cut it into installments paid out over time. Troops are damn lucky to get more than a handful of bucks in the year after their re-enlistment.

Carnivores can stop eating meat, SUV drivers can buy a buss pass and armed robbers can get jobs. People can be reformed, this is the entire basis for our parole system (and the only real reason to avoid just sentencing every shoplifter to death on the first offense). Reformed soldiers are as deserving of our support (and as deserving of their release) as any other reformed person.

Let me see now... 05.Jan.2004 17:52

thinking about it

George I was the last Prez to use Stop Loss.
George I Invaded one country during his term.
George I left the U.S. with a 4 Trillion Doller deficit

George II is using Stop Loss
George II invaded two countries (at least one of them unnecessarily.)
George II is leaving the U.S. with an even larger deficit than his pa.

Yep George, you get the prize
We get the booby.

a draft by any other name 05.Jan.2004 17:59

the truth

is still a draft.

Draft can be many things. . . 06.Jan.2004 00:11

Decorated army veteran

Hell, I would volunteer to go back to the military in a heartbeat to get a shot at Osama. I would even go willingly if called to fight the taliban who sheltered his sorry ass. But there is no way in hell this patriotic american military vet would ever go back in harm's way to beef up GW's stock options or avenge his worthless dad. Draft hell, they would have to send a SWAT team to my house to bring me back into the military today, and even then it would only last until the moment they issued me a rifle and ammo. . .

Fuck the draft; unless the Nazis are sending invasion forces or the Japanese are bombing our harbors again, a draft is just wrong.

U. S. Army= sure. U. S. Halliburton= fuck you.

military power 06.Jan.2004 01:34

wont serve

a caveat to this conversation is the seemingly unreported/ignored (by major media -- surprise) fact that the number of u.s. troops has exceeded the congressional limit of 480,000 presently. in other words, they dont have enough cannon fodder, and yet they have exceeded their own maximum allowable size.

perhaps, for the unfortunate americans who find themselves stuck in the military, this story presents a tactic to get out. (note: i condone only simulated abuse of iraqis for purposes of getting out of the military.)


Why the military wants to avoid drafting unwilling non-veterans 06.Jan.2004 12:30

GRINGO STARS

...fragging ended the Vietnam War and immobilized their military


No one knows how many officers were fragged, but after Tet it became epidemic. At least 800 to 1,000 fragging attempts using explosive devices were made. The army reported 126 fraggings in 1969, 271 in 1970 and 333 in 1971, when they stopped keeping count. But in that year, just in the American Division (of My Lai fame), one fragging per week took place. Some military estimates are that fraggings occurred at five times the official rate, while officers of the Judge Advocate General Corps believed that only 10 percent of fraggings were reported. These figures do not include officers who were shot in the back by their men and listed as wounded or killed in action.

Most fraggings resulted in injuries, although "word of the deaths of officers will bring cheers at troop movies or in bivouacs of certain units." The army admitted that it could not account for how 1,400 officers and noncommissioned officers died. This number, plus the official list of fragging deaths, has been accepted as the unacknowledged army estimate for officers killed by their men. It suggests that 20 to 25 percent -- if not more -- of all officers killed during the war were killed by enlisted men, not the "enemy." This figure has no precedent in the history of war.

THE MOST neglected aspect of the Vietnam War is the soldiers' revolt -- the mass upheaval from below that unraveled the American army. It is a great reality check in an era when the U.S. touts itself as an invincible nation. For this reason, the soldiers' revolt has been written out of official history. Yet it was a crucial part of the massive antiwar movement whose activity helped the Vietnamese people in their struggle to free Vietnam -- described once by President Johnson as a "raggedy-ass little fourth-rate country" -- from U.S. domination. The legacy of the soldiers' revolt and the U.S. defeat in Vietnam -- despite more recent U.S. victories over Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia -- casts a pall on the Pentagon. They still fear the political backlash that might come if U.S. ground forces sustain heavy casualties in a future war.

The army revolt was a class struggle that pitted working-class soldiers against officers who viewed them as expendable. The fashionable attempt to revise Vietnam War history, to airbrush its horrors, to create a climate supportive of future military interventions, cannot acknowledge that American soldiers violently opposed that war, or that American capitalism casually tolerated the massacre of working-class troops. Liberal academics have added to the historical distortion by reducing the radicalism of the 1960s to middle-class concerns and activities, while ignoring working-class rebellion. But the militancy of the 1960s began with the Black working class as the motor force of the Black liberation struggle, and it reached its climax with the unity of white and Black working-class soldiers whose upsurge shook U.S. imperialism.

In Vietnam, the rebellion did not take the same form as the mass stateside GI antiwar movement, which consisted of protests, marches, demonstrations and underground newspapers. In Vietnam, the aim of the soldiers was more modest, but also more subversive: survival, to "CYA" (cover your ass), to protect "the only body you have" by fighting the military's attempt to continue the war. The survival conflict became a war within the war that ripped the armed forces apart. In 1965, the Green Machine was the best army the U.S. ever put into the field; a few years later, it was useless as a fighting force.

"Survival politics," as it was then called, expressed itself through the destruction of the search-and-destroy strategy, through mutinies, through the killing of officers, and through fraternization and making peace from below with the National Liberation Front (NLF). It was highly effective in destroying everything that military hierarchy and discipline stand for. It was the proudest moment in the U.S. army's history.

Like most of the revolutionary traditions of the American working class, the soldiers' revolt has been hidden from history.



sources:

Richard Moser, The New Winter Soldiers: GI and Veteran Dissent During the Vietnam Era (Perspectives in the Sixties) (New Brunswick: Rutgers, 1996), p. 48

Christian G. Appy, Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993), p. 246.

Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr., "The Collapse of the Armed Forces," Armed Forces Journal, June 7, 1971, reprinted in Marvin Gettleman, et al., Vietnam and America: A Documented History (New York: Grove Press, 1995), p. 328.

Terry Anderson, "The GI Movement and the Response from the Brass," in Melvin Small and William Hoover, eds., Give Peace A Chance (Syracuse: Syracuse University, 1992), p. 105

THE SOLDIERS' REVOLT by Joel Geier
 http://www.isreview.org/pdfs/09/soldiers_revolt.pdf