Friday, April 13, 2007

Editorial (Salt Lake Tribune): Longer deployments will stress Army even more

The Bush administration is betting the farm that its troop surge will turn the Iraq war around.

No, that's not right. It's betting the Army.

In order to maintain the surge of 30,000 more soldiers for another year, the defense secretary announced Wednesday that all active-duty troops will have to serve longer tours of 15 months in Iraq and Afghanistan. The previous tour was 12 months.

The reason for the longer deployments is to maintain unit strength on the battlefield without further reducing the one-year interval between deployments that soldiers now get to recover and retrain.

Obviously, the longer periods in harm's way will increase the mental and physical strain on U.S. fighters. That's why we say that the president is betting the Army. He is placing more stress on an institution that already is stretched, some say to the breaking point.

Read the rest at the Salt Lake Tribune