President Bush's decision to increase the number of U.S. troops in violence-plagued Baghdad, Iraq, has forced commanders to extend the tours of 3,500 soldiers and appears to eliminate prospects for significant withdrawals of U.S. forces this year.
Just a month ago, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. George S. Casey, came to Washington and presented a scenario to Bush in which the number of combat brigades in Iraq could be reduced from 14 to 12 by September. Another two brigades would have been removed by the end of the year. A typical brigade includes 3,500 soldiers.
Now, even Defense Department officials who talked of reductions are discounting the prospects of near-term cuts....
Family members and friends must be disappointed that their loved ones in the military won't be coming home soon.
MSNBC is quoting a Washington Post article about how the troops are very frustrated:
Army Staff Sgt. Jose Sixtos considered the simple question about morale for more than an hour. But not until his convoy of armored Humvees had finally rumbled back into the Baghdad military base, and the soldiers emptied the ammunition from their machine guns, and passed off the bomb-detecting robot to another patrol, did he turn around in his seat and give his answer.
"Think of what you hate most about your job. Then think of doing what you hate most for five straight hours, every single day, sometimes twice a day, in 120-degree heat," he said. "Then ask how morale is."
Frustrated? "You have no idea," he said.....
We need to support our troops and we need to bring them home now.