According to a report in the Denver News, soldiers who were medically unfit or considered borderline have been sent to the Middle East to meet Army goals for “deployable strength.” The newspaper said more than 50 troops were deployed to Kuwait en route to Iraq while they were still getting medical treatment for various conditions. After arriving in Kuwait, at least two were sent back home. Captain Scot Tebo, surgeon at Fort Carson, wrote an email tht was obtained by the newspaper which stated: “We have been having issues reaching deployable srength, and thus have been taking along some borderline soldiers who we would otherwise have left behind for continued treatment.” Spokespeople at Fort Carson denied any such indicidents had happened. Howwever, Master Sergeant Denny Nelson, who holds the Bronze Star, said he had a severe foot injury and was told by doctors at Fort Carson not to run, jump or carry more than 20 pounds for at least three months. But, off he went to Kuwait.
These incidents are merely a symptom of the greater issue of the United States undertaking wars in various places in the world without sufficient personnel to carry out the mission. Former Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld used to complain that regular army officers were too tied up in having a large number of troops rather than following his ideas of a small and mobile striking force. Rumsfeld is now gone, but the legacy of his thinking continues to impact the United States armed forces.