Sarah Palin has repeatedly boasted of her leadership of the Alaska National Guard as evidence of her ability to command and lead. Unfortunately, latest reports indicate the National Guard that she leads has so many personnel shortages that its aviation unit has become among the most unreliable in the nation. Six months ago, General Craig Campbell warned in an internal memo that due to personnel issues “missions are at risk” and the lack of qualified airmen has reached “the crisis level.” The situation has somewhat improved, but General Campbell fears there will be “burnout” of those serving due to extraordinary demands on their time. Governor Palin has insisted she handles great responsibilities in heading the vast Alaska Nation Guard which consists of 3,800 troops.
Actually, General Campbell blamed the low level of personnel a result of “leadership issues” and urged a more aggressive recruiting and retention program. Governor Palin is correct in one respect in her boasting about the Alaska National Guard. The fact it only has 84% of its assigned positions gives it the lowest rating in the nation.
Perhaps, if Sarah Palin was not out shooting moose or going to hockey matches she might devote some time ensuring the Alaska National Guard attained levels of proficiency necessary to be an effective unit.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Gender Issues, George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Alaska, national Guard, Pallin
Governor Arnold Schwarenegger wants the Federal government to reduce its seizure of National Guard equipment for use in Iraq because of its effect on California’s needs. “I think it is not fair to the state for the federal government to go into a war situaiton and then to take from us the equipment. Every time our National Guards leave, they take with them equipment but they don’t bring it back. So there’s only so long they can do that.” The governor said his complaints have only resulted in a “sorry about that” attitude, but no assurances have been provided to rectify the situation. There are about 3,000 Guardsmen from California in Iraq and about 600 stationed on the border with Mexico. Governor Schwarzenegger was particularly upset at the loss of Chinook helicopter but was told it would take at least a year to get them returned.
In talks with Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff, the governor discovered only 3,000 of the supposed 6,000 additional Border Patrol staff had actually been hired. The entire use of National Guard men and equipment is a national disgrace. Men and women are being compelled to abandon jobs and families due to the Bush fiasco in Iraq without any sense of a termination to the entire process. Is the drain on the National Guard to go on and on? When will there be an end to this process? Unfortunately, for Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the movies the good guy achieves his goal within two hours. Sorry, Arnold, you are living in Bush America and nothing ever gets done within two years, let alone two hours.
Posted in George Bush, Iraq War, Military, Politics, Republicans, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged California, helicopters, Iraq, national Guard, Schwarzenegger
US military personnel who had leave time were planning to pay their way back home to Nebraska before concerned people in their native state decided to play Santa Claus. Spc. Heather Davey had put $587 on her credit card to get back home before learning she had a free ride due to the generosity of her fellow Nebraskans. She and 40 other members of the 110 Medical Battalion training in the state of Washington were the recipients of money raised within 24 hours by the Nebraska business community. Democrat senator Ben Nelson heard about the plight of his constituents and immediately contacted nebraska business leaders to take on the task of getting the military personnel back home.
Every once and a while, this writer wonders about the attitude of American leaders toward issues faced by those called to serve the nation. President Bush is always ready to condemn and deride opponents for ignoring the needs of the military, but he rarely does anything than speak and speak about his own patriotism. Has Bush ever once lifted his hand to do something about those in serve in order to make their lives easier? He opposed the proposed Democratic Congress raises for the military on grounds it constituted an excessive expenditure. Funny, he never hesitates giving Christmas gift tax cuts to the wealthy of America.