Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tours Of Duty Extended To 15 Months: Why So Short?

Secretary of Defense William Gates announced yesterday that military tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan have been (unilaterally) extended to 15 months (from 12).

Amid echoes of Catch-22 -- "They keep raising the number of missions!" -- I can't help but wonder:

Why so short?

Like an appointment to the Supreme Court, a military tour of duty abroad should be permanent.

Please control your knee-jerk reaction and think about the potential benefits:

It would eliminate the expense of rotation.

How much do you think it costs to fly halfway around the world? Remember: we're not talking civil aviation, the competitive free market, or anything of the sort. We're talking about a luxury ride in a military transport plane whose toilet seats alone may cost as much as $640 apiece.

How many of these intercontinental luxury trips does the American taxpayer pay for every year? And couldn't that money be spent on something more valuable -- like armor for the troops who are actually overseas?

Of course it could -- and that's only the beginning.

It would eliminate the hassle of transition.

Every time somebody gets a handle on what he's supposed to be doing he gets shipped back to the States and some new guy steps in who can't begin to fill his shoes. Is this any way to run an army? Hell, no! -- much less a navy or an air force. So let's get serious about this war and do it right.

Otherwise we might as well wave a white flag and go home.

It would eliminate the FUD of the families.

It's always so pathetic to see a grieving mother trying to discredit a noble cause by claiming that the military killed her son. What did she think? He was joining the Boy Scouts?

And for that matter, why should any military families have to live with fear, uncertainty and doubt? Why should the parents and spouses of servicemen and -women have to appear brave and patriotic in public, while privately wondering whether they will ever see their beloved again?

They should know what to expect. They should all know what to expect. A lifetime tour of duty would make it easier on everybody.

It would eliminate the expense (and the embarrassment) of domestic VA hospitals.

In fact it would eliminate the expense and embarrassment of domestic VA services altogether, especially those that try to assist in the transition from military to civilian life.

Who needs it? Save all that money, plow it back into the Pentagon's operational budget (where it belongs!), and we've got a bit of momentum again.

It would eliminate the blowback effect on Homeland Security.

The last thing the Homeland needs is an influx of homeless jobless vets with nothing going for them but PTSD and a bit of weapons training. Our society is already way too violent as it is.

And the second-last thing we need here is an influx of former servicemen contaminated with depleted uranium dust, sharing their carcinogenic and mutagenic bodily fluids with their wives and girlfriends, who will then bear grotesquely deformed children and die slow, painful deaths.

If tours of duty were permanent, we wouldn't have to worry about either of these serious threats to the Homeland.

It would make an honest statement to the people of Iraq.

To wit:
We're here. We're staying until the oil runs out. And there's not a damned thing you can do about it. Rag-heads!
It would make an honest statement to the American military.

To wit:
Once you're in, you're ours! We don't care about you; we don't care about your family; you are so replaceable that we don't care how long you live or where you die. In fact, we don't even care if we have to send you overseas without the proper training.

Your job is to kill as many foreigners as possible before they kill you. Period.
The downside is negligible.

Aside from the mindless bleeding-heart knee-jerk liberal reaction which I asked you to control, the downside is in fact negligible. The American people have shown -- over and over and over -- that they will tolerate unlimited corruption of their system of government, unlimited abuse of their military, and unlimited unprovoked mass murder of foreigners, especially foreigners with oil.

So what is the sleepwalking American public gonna do? Vote the "scoundrels" out? In unverifiable elections on hackable (read "hacked") voting machines? Both major parties support not only this war but the previous one as well as the next one, so let's be serious!

It's a radical idea.

Yes, it's a radical idea. But on the other hand, in the past six years we have seen quite a few radical ideas discussed, embraced, implemented and accepted. And now, with the help of the patriotic media, many of them are already part of the national fabric, unnoticed except by a few bleeding-heart liberal jerks. So just because an idea is radical, that doesn't necessarily rule it out.

Some skeptics may object, claiming that a permanent tour of duty would discourage new recruits from signing up. And that may be so, but then again, we'd have all sorts of extra money, so we could afford to buy as many new recruits as we need.

And if that fails, there's always the Selective Service.