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The Unspoken Word

As I read this AP article "Pentagon abandons active-duty time limit", the question that kept running through my mind was "Does this administration think that the American people are stupid?" 

At the very least, it thinks that we can't do simple math.  In addition to its announcement regarding the abandonment of the active duty time limit, the Pentagon also announced that it intends to increase the size of the Marine Corps and the Army by over 650,000 92,000 over the next 5 years.  Yep, you read that correctly--650,000 92,000 (thanks Rob!) people: 

The Pentagon also announced it is proposing to Congress that the size of the Army be increased by 65,000, to 547,000 and that the Marine Corps, the smallest of the services, grow by 27,000, to 202,000, over the next five years.

Either the military plans to start accepting all those rejected citizens (92,000 of them--who knew?) who keep knocking on their doors offering to head on over to Iraq to fight the insurgency or the "D" word is in play.  They're just not saying it out loud--yet.  But, they're firing up a media campaign to get us used to the idea. 

Apparently they think that they can toss around numbers like that without any explanation or plan and expect us to simply accept the numbers without question.  92,000 American citizens.  Over the next 5 years.  In Iraq and Afghanistan.  Amongst the bullets, bombs and insurgents.  Outrageous.

I'm just glad my kids are little and my husband is too old to be drafted.

Now, on to the main focus of the article--the Pentagon's recent announcement that the Pentagon has abandoned the limits on the time that a citizen-soldier will be required to serve on active duty.  As a result of the policy change: 

(A) citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as an additional 24 months. In practice, Pace said, the Pentagon intends to limit all future mobilizations to 12 months.

But, according to David Chu, the Pentagon's chief of personnel, it's "no big deal."  Yep, you read that right as well.  From the article:

The fact that some with previous Iraq experience will end up spending more than 24 months on active duty is "no big deal," Chu said, because it has been "implicitly understood" by most that they eventually would go beyond 24 months.

Unbelievable.  Absolutely unbelievable.  What is happening in this country of ours?


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Sorry, but I have to wonder about your simple math too... :) The plain language of the article says the request is to increase Army troops BY 65,000 people, TO a new total enlistment of 547,000. 65,000 plus 27,000 makes a total of 92,000 troops by my count, not over 650,000.

Note the difference between the phrases "by 65,000 to 547,000" and "by 65,000, to 547,000". The first phrase, which has no comma after the first number, expresses a range between the two numbers. The second phrase has the comma, which changes the meaning to indicate that the increase is in the amount of the first number, and said increase will create a new total equal to the second number.

It's still a huge number considering the military's inability to meet recruiting quotas lately.


Rob! You're the best. And, I really mean that. I *knew* that something was wrong with that article. Apparently it was my understanding of it--perhaps I should have read it a bit slower.

I actually feel a bit better about it now that you pointed out my wayward misinterpretation.

But, it's still a large increase--but at least one that the mind can comprehend.

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