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  • The Reserve in reserve?

    Originally posted by Foxnews

    WASHINGTON Members of the Army Reserve sometimes complain of not knowing when or whether they might be mobilized for active duty. Soon they may complain of knowing all too well.

    Under a plan spelled out Tuesday by Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly (search), chief of the Army Reserve (search), the mobilization system would be changed fundamentally so that Reserve members would be scheduled for mobilization every four or five years for periods of nine to 12 months.

    Gone would be the days of training limited to a weekend a month and two weeks during the summer.

    Some in the Army Reserve have gone many years without being mobilized; others have been mobilized repeatedly. Helmly said his approach would remove the uncertainty but acknowledged this might not sit well with some Reserve members who count on not being mobilized.

    "There will be some people who will say, 'I do not wish to be a part of that kind of force,'" Helmly said.

    To offset those losses, he wants the Army to begin offering bonuses to soldiers leaving the active-duty Army to persuade them to join the Reserves.

    Helmly's proposal has not received final approval from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, according to Helmly's spokesman, Al Schilf.

    Currently there is no official regularity to reserve call-ups, and some who joined expecting never to be mobilized have been shocked to find themselves in Iraq for full-year tours.

    About 66,500 Army Reserve members currently are on active duty, both at home, in Iraq and elsewhere abroad. That is about one-third of the total Army Reserve of 205,000.
    It's been clear to me for some time that the active duty Army is too small for its current mission. The downsizing in the early '90s went too far in the name of saving a buck. Ever since, division after division has been deployed overseas only to find itself slated for further mission as soon as it returns. There simply aren't enough units to share the load.

    Furthermore, the practice of using the Marines only for combat mission rather than other duties has added to the burdern on the Army, which has been forced to carry almost all the combined weight of various peacekeeping/occupation missions. Rumsfeld has bugun to use the Marines in roles they don't like and they are starting to grumble about it too.

    The problem is a simple matter of bodies. The US can't have 42,000 troops in Korea, occupy Afghanistan, occupy Iraq, search for al Qaeda, peacekeep in the Balkans, and still be ready for anything else. The force is stretched paper thin and it's starting to have a devastating consequence on the overall quality of the military. I'm a perfect example.

    The Reserve soldiers are growing weary of being used like active duty. The solution in the above article will only add to the exodus. It does nothing to address the root of the problem.
    Editor-in-Chief
    GameSquad.com

  • #2
    There is a lot of speculation that if Bush wins in 2004, the neocons will take it as a mandate and try to push through a reinstatement of the draft. Selective Service offices are already being pushed to get ready to become more active.

    Given the number of people who have lost jobs, and have given up hope of finding them, circumstances such as the current economic situation might be the most opportune time to go back to conscription based Armed Services.

    Of course, the question begged, is how can this nation possibly afford this?. How long do you think those tax cuts are going to remain in effect, if the draft is reinstated?
    Last edited by JAMiAM; 21 Jan 04, 14:32.
    I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

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    • #3
      Hello,

      Aren't the reserve soldiers being selfish? Are they only in the reserve to take advantage of some army benefits? If they are only there for economic or hobby reasons, then why in world would they ever think of actually being a reserve soldier if it meant the activation would be a possibility?

      Being a Reserve soldier is a serious duty, it is not for weekend warriors. It is for people who expects to be called for active service at any time. It is not for selfish people. If such people complain of being actived, then why are they in Army or National Guards or whatever it is?

      If not for my deafness, I would gladly sign up for US Army or participate in the reserve corps. I want to serve my beloved country with honor and dignity bestowed upon such real American patriots.

      On the other hand, I don't think a draft or conscription is a good idea as it will degrade the overrall quality of the US armed forces. Of course, that's just my opinion.

      Dan
      Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

      "Aim small, miss small."

      Comment


      • #4
        The current Major players on the world stage are doing too much to save money on defence - personally my major recollection is 1982 when we had to cancel the sale of HMS Invincible because we needed her to help re-take the Falklands. Thank god the Aussies were ok about that.
        From an English point of view it seems that every time we reduce our armed forces we need them, there must be a lesson there?
        "Teamwork is essential - it gives the Enemy someone else to shoot at"

        Comment


        • #5
          For me as soon as I get out of college I will be joining the military and am looking forward to serving my country.

          Iam greatful that GWB is our president because he has increased military spending and has stopped cut back on the military. When Clinton was in office he almost destroyed the military with all of his cut backs. There were alot of bases closed and alot of soliders discharged. He also sold alot of our equipment. This weakend our military immensly but thankfully Bush has helped to restore that.

          Dan I agree with you that these reservist who are complaining are being selfish. They knew what they were signing up for when they did it so they shouldn't be suprised when they are called up.

          Im not sure how this new plan will affect the reservist but I think more attention should be given to spreading the load out between all the reservist units. So that some are sitting for long periods of time while others are repeatdly called.

          Well those are just my thoughts and opinions anyways.



          Thanks for looking!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JAMiAM
            There is a lot of speculation that if Bush wins in 2004, the neocons will take it as a mandate and try to push through a reinstatement of the draft. Selective Service offices are already being pushed to get ready to become more active.
            I would be shocked to see this happen. The senior military leadership is completely united in its opposition to any type of draft proposal. Rumsfeld is adamantly opposed to this as well. He has been asked about it several times since Charlie Rangle (D) proposed that the draft be reinstated.

            Reinstating the draft is a terrible idea, not because it wouldn't be good for the generation whaterver-they-call-themselves, but because it would greatly lower the readiness of the armed forces. There is about zero chance that will happen anyway. Representative Rangle's proposal was simply an attempt to grab some headlines.
            Editor-in-Chief
            GameSquad.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Don Maddox

              There is about zero chance that will happen anyway. Representative Rangle's proposal was simply an attempt to grab some headlines.

              Rangle grabbing headlines...c'mon. What will you say next, Rev Jesse Jackson is a media *****?

              There won't be a draft...or there won't be a draft just to bolster our forces; its just more "...the sky is falling; and it's GWB's fault" talk.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Don Maddox
                I would be shocked to see this happen. The senior military leadership is completely united in its opposition to any type of draft proposal. Rumsfeld is adamantly opposed to this as well. He has been asked about it several times since Charlie Rangle (D) proposed that the draft be reinstated.

                Reinstating the draft is a terrible idea, not because it wouldn't be good for the generation whaterver-they-call-themselves, but because it would greatly lower the readiness of the armed forces. There is about zero chance that will happen anyway. Representative Rangle's proposal was simply an attempt to grab some headlines.
                I think people are thinking about the draft more than in the past. It is clear the war on terrorism, cutbacks, and our generation strategic commitments (peacekeeping, deterrrence, humanitarian) is stretching the force mighty thin. There is little support for the draft at the moment. And like Don, I feel it would be a very bad mistake.

                However, I think it would be wise to at least begin to develop the kind of structure, which would mitigate the consequences of such an event on the overall force. The draft would create the kind problems the various powers endured in 1914 when their primarily reservist forces were suddenly thrusted into battle. Building leadership skills among the regular force is critical. They will be vital to improving the readiness of the draftees.

                Improving morale among the regular army and reservists rest in the hands of politicians. Soldiers are being asked daily to leave their families and risk their lives in what appears to be a growing number of open-ended commitments. Soldiers returning dread the prospect of actually returning, but realize it is likely because so little is being accomplished. I think if the government would provide a clear endstate based on achievable goals, with a good plan for accomplishing them, soldiers, even reservist will be more confident.
                "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think Rangle's doing more than just grabbing headlines. The draft has historically hit hardest against those of the lower socio-economic strata, who cannot arrange the deferrments, etc., to avoid service in active arms of the military. This would give a shot in the arm to the moribund Democratic Party, as either an open and credible "threat", or as an enacted reality.

                  Regardless of the aforementioned opposition amongst the military brass, and Rumsfeld, the rumors are coming from both sides of the bench. That doesn't make it a good idea, only possible.
                  I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wolf
                    From an English point of view it seems that every time we reduce our armed forces we need them, there must be a lesson there?
                    We have a crapload of leaky subs we'd be more than happy to send back to you...
                    "When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home."

                    Winston Churchill

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Deltapooh
                      However, I think it would be wise to at least begin to develop the kind of structure, which would mitigate the consequences of such an event on the overall force. The draft would create the kind problems the various powers endured in 1914 when their primarily reservist forces were suddenly thrusted into battle.
                      The problem with this is that everything is politics. Even something as innocent as simply planning for the eventuality, or setting up a basic structure to handle it in case of emergency would be bad news. Why? Because everything costs money, and thus the plan would be leaked to the media within the first thirty seconds of its conception. The Democrats would use this like a sledgehammer to curry favor with younger voters and portray President Bush in the worst possible light. Nevermind that the original proposal came from a Democratic congressman, the media blitz would be non-stop. It's not hard to imagine political operatives like James Carville having a blast whipping college campuses into a frenzy.

                      No one in the Pentagon is going to even touch this with a ten foot pole.
                      Editor-in-Chief
                      GameSquad.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Canadian military is or was entertaining the thought of having two force structures - one combat oriented and one peacekeeping oriented.

                        Military pundits are concerned that the constant and large peacekeeping commitments by Canada is eroding the war-fighting capability of the Canadian military.

                        While there is an overlap of skills required for war-fighting and peacekeeping, the skills between war-fighting and peacekeeping are different enough to warrent a look at force structures. The reality is that Canada doesn't commit peacekeepers unless peace can be maintained and there is a very low probability of shooting war resuming.

                        As such, it has been suggested that a force structure in which troops do peacekeeping, civil defence and emergency reaction and *only* those activities be examined. That would leave the war-fighting force structure to focus on training, operation readiness and actual combat.

                        I don't know whether the Canadian military is still examing this issue or not, but I wonder if the concept has merit and may be applicable as a solution to the US manpower concerns.

                        It's advantage is that a 'peacekeeping' soldier does not need to be trained to the skill level of a 'war-fighting soldier' and doesn't need the scope of training - 'peacekeeping' soldiers don't need to know how to operate a M1 tank, MLRS rocket system, or Apache helicopters, etc. because such equipment is sub-optimal as a tool for peacekeeping.

                        The end result is a savings in equipment dollars and training dollars since a 'peacekeeping soldier' doesn't need all the toys or the level of training as a 'war-fighting' soldier.
                        Thoughts?
                        Last edited by Black Moria; 23 Jan 04, 14:12.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Black Moria

                          The reality is that Canada doesn't commit peacekeepers unless peace can be maintained and there is a very low probability of shooting war resuming.


                          Thoughts?
                          Not entirely true.

                          Witness Canadian commitments in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 90s.
                          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Black Moria

                            It's advantage is that a 'peacekeeping' soldier does not need to be trained to the skill level of a 'war-fighting soldier' and doesn't need the scope of training - 'peacekeeping' soldiers don't need to know how to operate a M1 tank, MLRS rocket system, or Apache helicopters, etc. because such equipment is sub-optimal as a tool for peacekeeping.

                            The end result is a savings in equipment dollars and training dollars since a 'peacekeeping soldier' doesn't need all the toys or the level of training as a 'war-fighting' soldier.
                            Thoughts?
                            I must disagree. Peace keepers need to be trained to a higher degree than the average grunt. Peace keeping involves a lot of skills employed by civilian uniformed police as well as basic military skills. What ususally happens is that your average grunt (in the next battalion due for deployment) is given some OJT on local customs and a briefing about the local situation plus orders expressed in combat operation terminology. Good intentions are supposed to make up for all of the missing training in non-violent conflict resolution that is the core of peace keeping. This is also different to peace enforcement where the shooting is still happening and a well armed soldier is just as effective as a well armed policeman.

                            To use specifically trained peacekeepers is a good idea, but to think that they need less training than a "point-and-release" infanteer (and some of these guys really are that basic) is not a sound platform for peacekeeping success. Really, peace keepers need to have a second language, not trouble with their first.

                            Of course it is reasonable to expect that peace keepers will not use much in the way of ammo and pyro's, but they still need pay, rations, medical support, helicopter fuel, white paint etc so there will be some savings, but not a lot.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Don Maddox

                              Reinstating the draft is a terrible idea, not because it wouldn't be good for the generation whaterver-they-call-themselves, but because it would greatly lower the readiness of the armed forces. There is about zero chance that will happen anyway. Representative Rangle's proposal was simply an attempt to grab some headlines.
                              I was in Bosnia in 96 and served with US troops down there.
                              I cant remember which division they came from, but i guess it was one from germany.

                              The troops i talked too, was there for a period of minimum a year, which could be extended.
                              That was of course annoying for the soldier who had family in germany, that they had no real way of knowing when they would be back again.

                              My point is this: Wouldnt some kind of draft, give your forces a reinforcement pool to draw from, which would ease the strain on your current formations.

                              The system we have (by no means perfect) is that you are on a mission 6 months at a time. When the 6 month are gone u will be replaced by a unit recruited from the last years conscipts. Of course officers and specialist is pulling a heavier load, but the troops will be replaced in 6 months.

                              To counter the argument that these troops arent up to the standard the US forces require. I met several soldiers in Bosnia, straight out of boot camp.
                              These people had been in service 3 months.

                              Originally posted by Prester John
                              I must disagree. Peace keepers need to be trained to a higher degree than the average grunt. Peace keeping involves a lot of skills employed by civilian uniformed police as well as basic military skills. What ususally happens is that your average grunt (in the next battalion due for deployment) is given some OJT on local customs and a briefing about the local situation plus orders expressed in combat operation terminology. Good intentions are supposed to make up for all of the missing training in non-violent conflict resolution that is the core of peace keeping. This is also different to peace enforcement where the shooting is still happening and a well armed soldier is just as effective as a well armed policeman.

                              To use specifically trained peacekeepers is a good idea, but to think that they need less training than a "point-and-release" infanteer (and some of these guys really are that basic) is not a sound platform for peacekeeping success. Really, peace keepers need to have a second language, not trouble with their first.
                              I totally agree, and actually see this as an argument for conscription.
                              The people u send out will normally be older and more secure in a foreign environment.
                              What often happens with younger soldier is that they misunderstand a situation, thereby acting more hostile than is neccesary.

                              This gets worse as the situation starts to wear u down. my experience is that the longer u are in a hostile or semihostile environment, the less tolerancy for the locals situation u will have. and thereby be more likely to use unneccesary force.


                              When i came home from bosnia i was ready to nuke the place, and i was only there 6 months. Imagine how your troops in Iraq are starting to feel.
                              And their situation is many times worse than Bosnia was in 96.
                              Last edited by Djarnis; 24 Jan 04, 02:09.
                              I see why kyoto was unacceptable
                              http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/env_pol_car_dio_199
                              http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/env_co2_emi

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