Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said he definitely will ask President Bush to veto the proposed bill by Senator Jim Webb of Virginia which would require that troops who have been stationed in Iraq for fifteen months would be entitled to a 12 month rest time in the United States before being sent back to Iraq. Senator Jack Reed, a supporter of the Webb proposal said: “They deserve the same amount of time back home as they stay in the field” but Gates argues such a policy would “affect combat effectiveness and perhaps pose greater risk to our troops.”
Perhaps, lost in this dispute is continued refusal of President Bush to be honest with the American people and ask for sacrifice if he really believes in the Iraq war. If Bush is so concerned about having sufficient troops in Iraq, the problem can be resolved by re-instituting the draft. Of course, no such sacrifice will ever be asked by Bush of the American people since it might cost Republicans some votes.