In 2007 SoD Robert Gates gave the order to cut back on Stop Loss. This may have given some people the idea the Army was going to cut back on Stop Loss. These same people then went looking for unicorns (via USA Toady):
The Army has accelerated its policy of involuntary extensions of duty to bolster its troop levels, despite Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ order last year to limit it, Pentagon records show.
By May, the number of soldiers affected by the policy had dropped to a three-year low of 8,540.
Since then, the number of soldiers forced to remain in the Army rose 43% to 12,235 in March. The reliance on stop loss has increased as the military has sent more troops to Iraq and extended tours to 15 months to support an escalation in U.S. forces ordered by President Bush. The increase last month was driven by the need to send more National Guard soldiers to Iraq.
What kind of candy coating are they putting on this particular pile of shit? Oh look, it’s a misty-eyed romantic interpretation of combat life coating:
“Secretary Gates understands the hardship stop loss poses to our troops and their families, but he also understands the need to maintain cohesive units on the battlefield throughout deployment,” [Pentagon press secretary Geoff] Morrell said. “Troops who have trained together and fought together should remain together.”
And gradually crack under the strain together ’til death do them part.
I must say that for an organization that is notoriously skittish about teh gehy, the military takes great pleasure in tailpiping the soldiers. Maybe the commanders don’t want the troops to find out that it needn’t be a painful process that ends with a smack on the back of the head and a contemptuous demand for a towel. Maybe.
Fortunately the G.O.P. has come up with a simple solution to the problem:
[Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.] said the nation needs a bigger Army. In the meantime, he urges the Pentagon to press more personnel from the Air Force and Navy into Army jobs.
Wow, Rep Shays [R-Obvious], I bet no one has ever thought of that before. And it will be so easy! Just hit the reset button on the video game … no, that won’t work. Clap your hands and say you believe in … huh.
Well, I guess they’ll just have to let more ex-cons in because the “D” word is right out and so is the “G” word. In the meantime we can grab a bunch of guys trained to do one thing and press them to do another thing and it will get done.
Christ, where the fuck is the guy with the hook?