Tag Archives: Reserves

Who Wants To Go To Afghanistan?

The old expression about “the best laid plans” is facing a test in Afghanistan where there is an increasing lack of qualified people to carry out President Obama’s desire for developing the economic aspects of Afghan society. The president wants experts such as agronomists or economists or legal experts or those qualified to stimulate farm production to head for Asia as part of a civilian “surge” that supposedly was to team with a military one in order to foster economic development. Defense Department press secretary Goeff Morrell admitted that we are “not going to be able to provide the ‘civilian surge’ in the near future and the need is now.” The State Department created a Civilian Response Corps but it lacks adequate funding and will also face the reality of lack of trained personnel.

As so often has happened over the past eight years when there is lack of military personnel or lack of civilian volunteers, the only ones who can fill the void are members of the Reserves. Most probably they will be drafted to fill the needs and will receive much less pay than what is being offered civilians who go to Afghanistan.

What Happens If Withdrawal From Iraq Halts?

As the situation in Iraq becomes quieter, American military leaders are pondering their options regarding the future. Should troops be withdrawn who were sent during the surge? As their term of deployment winds down to an end, where will replacements come from? If present levels of troops are maintained in Iraq it will most probably require activating additional National Guard units and Reserve forces. There is considerable discussion as to whether a pause should be instituted, decisions which involve– tour length, th number of troops required, and the mix of National Guard, active duty and reservists who will constitute the force in the field.

Army units still serve 15 month tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is there a point at which maintaining existing forces in the Middle East creates serious problems about the morale both of those serving and family members at home?