Breaking the army

The Bush administration is simply not pro-soldier. I don’t think they give a damn about the troops at all, except as another tool to be used and cast aside:

Among the 513,000 active-duty soldiers who have served in Iraq since the invasion of 2003, more than 197,000 have deployed more than once, and more than 53,000 have deployed three or more times, according to a separate set of statistics provided this week by Army personnel officers. The percentage of troops sent back to Iraq for repeat deployments would have to increase in the months ahead.

More than ten percent have deployed three or more times already! That’s completely crazy, especially when we’re not at war, and when there is no prospect of an end in sight. Even if you are foolish enough to think that trying to build a stable Iraqi democracy is the most urgent priority for U.S. national security, you have to understand that bringing a soldier home and sending him back to a war zone again and again is going to significantly harm his morale. Some men and their families can handle it, but an awful lot simply won’t be able to do so.

Fewer, longer tours would probably take far less of a toll while increasing effectiveness in the field.