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Thread: Troop morale in Iraq hits 'rock bottom' | Forums

  1. #1
    XyZspineZyX
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    Troop morale in Iraq hits 'rock bottom'

    Soldiers stress is a key concern as the Army ponders whether to send more forces.

    By Ann Scott Tyson | Special to The Christian Science Monitor

    WASHINGTON - US troops facing extended deployments amid the danger, heat, and uncertainty of an Iraq occupation are suffering from low morale that has in some cases hit "rock bottom."
    Even as President Bush speaks of a "massive and long-term" undertaking in rebuilding Iraq, that effort, as well as the high tempo of US military operations around the globe, is taking its toll on individual troops.



    Some frustrated troops stationed in Iraq are writing letters to representatives in Congress to request their units be repatriated. "Most soldiers would empty their bank accounts just for a plane ticket home," said one recent Congressional letter written by an Army soldier now based in Iraq. The soldier requested anonymity.

    In some units, there has been an increase in letters from the Red Cross stating soldiers are needed at home, as well as daily instances of female troops being sent home due to pregnancy.

    "Make no mistake, the level of morale for most soldiers that I've seen has hit rock bottom," said another soldier, an officer from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq.

    Such open grumbling among troops comes as US commanders reevaluate the size and composition of the US-led coalition force needed to occupy Iraq. US Central Command, which is leading the occupation, is expected by mid-July to send a proposal to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on how many and what kind of troops are required, as well as on the rotation of forces there.

    For soldiers, a life on the road

    The rethink about troop levels comes as senior military leaders voice concern that multiple deployments around the world are already taxing the endurance of US forces, the Army in particular. Some 370,000 soldiers are now deployed overseas from an Army active-duty, guard, and reserve force of just over 1 million people, according to Army figures.

    Experts warn that long, frequent deployments could lead to a rash of departures from the military. "Hordes of active-duty troops and reservists may soon leave the service rather than subject themselves to a life continually on the road," writes Michael O'Hanlon, a military expert at the Brookings Institution here.

    A major Army study is now under way to examine the impact of this high pace of operations on the mental health of soldiers and families. "The cumulative effect of these work hours and deployment and training are big issues, and soldiers are concerned about it," says Col. Charles Hoge, who is leading the survey of 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers for the Walter Reed Institute of Army Research.

    Concern over stressed troops is not new. In the late 1990s, a shrinking of military manpower combined with a rise in overseas missions prompted Congress to call for sharp pay increases for troops deployed over a certain number of days.

    "But then came September 11 and the operational tempo went off the charts" and the Congressional plan was suspended, according to Ed Bruner, an expert on ground forces at the Congressional Research Service here.

    Adding manpower to the region

    Despite Pentagon statements before the war that the goal of US forces was to "liberate, not occupy" Iraq, Secretary Rumsfeld warned last week that the war against terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere "will not be over any time soon."

    Currently, there are some 230,000 US troops serving in and around Iraq, including nearly 150,000 US troops inside Iraq and 12,000 from Britain and other countries. According to the Pentagon, the number of foreign troops is expected to rise to 20,000 by September. Fresh foreign troops began flowing into Iraq this month, part of two multinational forces led by Poland and Britain. A third multinational force is also under consideration.

    A crucial factor in determining troop levels are the daily attacks that have killed more than 30 US and British servicemen in Iraq since Mr. Bush declared on May 1 that major combat operations had ended.

    The unexpected degree of resistance led the Pentagon to increase US ground troops in Iraq to mount a series of ongoing raids aimed at confiscating weapons and capturing opposition forces.

    A tour of duty with no end in sight

    As new US troops flowed into Iraq, others already in the region for several months, such as the 20,000-strong 3rd Infantry Division were retained in Iraq.

    "Faced with continued resistance, Department of Defense now plans to keep a larger force in Iraq than anticipated for a period of time," Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, explained in a statement to families a month ago. "I appreciate the turmoil and stress that a continued deployment has caused," he added.

    The open-ended deployments in Iraq are lowering morale among some ground troops, who say constantly shifting time tables are reducing confidence in their leadership. "The way we have been treated and the continuous lies told to our families back home has devastated us all," a soldier in Iraq wrote in a letter to Congress.

    Security threats, heat, harsh living conditions, and, for some soldiers, waiting and boredom have gradually eroded spirits. An estimated 9,000 troops from the 3rd Infantry Division - most deployed for at least six months and some for more than a year - have been waiting for several weeks, without a mission, to return to the United States, officers say.

    In one Army unit, an officer described the mentality of troops. "They vent to anyone who will listen. They write letters, they cry, they yell. Many of them walk around looking visibly tired and depressed.... We feel like pawns in a game that we have no voice [in]."





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  2. #2
    XyZspineZyX
    Guest
    Troop morale in Iraq hits 'rock bottom'

    Soldiers stress is a key concern as the Army ponders whether to send more forces.

    By Ann Scott Tyson | Special to The Christian Science Monitor

    WASHINGTON - US troops facing extended deployments amid the danger, heat, and uncertainty of an Iraq occupation are suffering from low morale that has in some cases hit "rock bottom."
    Even as President Bush speaks of a "massive and long-term" undertaking in rebuilding Iraq, that effort, as well as the high tempo of US military operations around the globe, is taking its toll on individual troops.



    Some frustrated troops stationed in Iraq are writing letters to representatives in Congress to request their units be repatriated. "Most soldiers would empty their bank accounts just for a plane ticket home," said one recent Congressional letter written by an Army soldier now based in Iraq. The soldier requested anonymity.

    In some units, there has been an increase in letters from the Red Cross stating soldiers are needed at home, as well as daily instances of female troops being sent home due to pregnancy.

    "Make no mistake, the level of morale for most soldiers that I've seen has hit rock bottom," said another soldier, an officer from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq.

    Such open grumbling among troops comes as US commanders reevaluate the size and composition of the US-led coalition force needed to occupy Iraq. US Central Command, which is leading the occupation, is expected by mid-July to send a proposal to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on how many and what kind of troops are required, as well as on the rotation of forces there.

    For soldiers, a life on the road

    The rethink about troop levels comes as senior military leaders voice concern that multiple deployments around the world are already taxing the endurance of US forces, the Army in particular. Some 370,000 soldiers are now deployed overseas from an Army active-duty, guard, and reserve force of just over 1 million people, according to Army figures.

    Experts warn that long, frequent deployments could lead to a rash of departures from the military. "Hordes of active-duty troops and reservists may soon leave the service rather than subject themselves to a life continually on the road," writes Michael O'Hanlon, a military expert at the Brookings Institution here.

    A major Army study is now under way to examine the impact of this high pace of operations on the mental health of soldiers and families. "The cumulative effect of these work hours and deployment and training are big issues, and soldiers are concerned about it," says Col. Charles Hoge, who is leading the survey of 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers for the Walter Reed Institute of Army Research.

    Concern over stressed troops is not new. In the late 1990s, a shrinking of military manpower combined with a rise in overseas missions prompted Congress to call for sharp pay increases for troops deployed over a certain number of days.

    "But then came September 11 and the operational tempo went off the charts" and the Congressional plan was suspended, according to Ed Bruner, an expert on ground forces at the Congressional Research Service here.

    Adding manpower to the region

    Despite Pentagon statements before the war that the goal of US forces was to "liberate, not occupy" Iraq, Secretary Rumsfeld warned last week that the war against terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere "will not be over any time soon."

    Currently, there are some 230,000 US troops serving in and around Iraq, including nearly 150,000 US troops inside Iraq and 12,000 from Britain and other countries. According to the Pentagon, the number of foreign troops is expected to rise to 20,000 by September. Fresh foreign troops began flowing into Iraq this month, part of two multinational forces led by Poland and Britain. A third multinational force is also under consideration.

    A crucial factor in determining troop levels are the daily attacks that have killed more than 30 US and British servicemen in Iraq since Mr. Bush declared on May 1 that major combat operations had ended.

    The unexpected degree of resistance led the Pentagon to increase US ground troops in Iraq to mount a series of ongoing raids aimed at confiscating weapons and capturing opposition forces.

    A tour of duty with no end in sight

    As new US troops flowed into Iraq, others already in the region for several months, such as the 20,000-strong 3rd Infantry Division were retained in Iraq.

    "Faced with continued resistance, Department of Defense now plans to keep a larger force in Iraq than anticipated for a period of time," Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, explained in a statement to families a month ago. "I appreciate the turmoil and stress that a continued deployment has caused," he added.

    The open-ended deployments in Iraq are lowering morale among some ground troops, who say constantly shifting time tables are reducing confidence in their leadership. "The way we have been treated and the continuous lies told to our families back home has devastated us all," a soldier in Iraq wrote in a letter to Congress.

    Security threats, heat, harsh living conditions, and, for some soldiers, waiting and boredom have gradually eroded spirits. An estimated 9,000 troops from the 3rd Infantry Division - most deployed for at least six months and some for more than a year - have been waiting for several weeks, without a mission, to return to the United States, officers say.

    In one Army unit, an officer described the mentality of troops. "They vent to anyone who will listen. They write letters, they cry, they yell. Many of them walk around looking visibly tired and depressed.... We feel like pawns in a game that we have no voice [in]."





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  3. #3
    XyZspineZyX
    Guest
    I'am sorry but, do you have some sort of vendetta against the US?

    Every single post you make seems to have some sort of biasness directed towards the US.


    This is a rather pointless also. This isn't anything new since the dawn of time. You place 300,000 people in another country in rudimentary living conditions when they are accustomed to a high standard of living compared to the rest of the world and you get a few complaints. Which is the reason the military rotates units.


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  4. #4
    XyZspineZyX
    Guest
    "You place 300,000 people in another country in rudimentary living conditions when they are accustomed to a high standard of living compared to the rest of the world and you get a few complaints."

    They are soldiers, they are not supposed to be living in luxury, nor do I think they do when they are back home.

    As for "accustomed to a high standard of living compared to the rest of the world", are you implying that America has the highest living standard in the world, or are you just chosing to refer to those with lesser living standard as "the world" and disregarding them with equal or higher standards?
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  5. #5
    XyZspineZyX
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    You will almost never run into a soldier that doesn't beach about his current situation. What I said before is the reason why most of them beach. Case in point the letters sent to congress to send them home.


    And no I'am not implying the us has the highest standard.




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  6. #6
    XyZspineZyX
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    ViperRaGe wrote:
    - I'am sorry but, do you have some sort of vendetta
    - against the US?

    Yes. My cunning plan is to bring down the US and the capitalist system by posting the occasional article on Internet message boards that suggest that the war on Iraq may have been a bad idea.

    <center>
    &lt;iframe src="http://costofwar.com/embed.html" width="600" noborder></iframe>
    </center>


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  7. #7
    XyZspineZyX
    Guest
    So you like hate the US?


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  8. #8
    XyZspineZyX
    Guest
    ViperRaGe wrote:
    -
    -
    - So you like hate the US?

    Hell yeh,

    Those Capitalist Pigs were evil enough to start a show called FRIENDS.
    That threat must be stopped.

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  9. #9
    XyZspineZyX
    Guest
    o yeah that some great logic for going to war....


    We should just forget about going to war with iraq because of WMD.... get the truth out. Desert Storm 2 was only another attempt to creat a new reality tv show.

    I mean what could be better for american views? A full blown war on there TV! That's the real reason we went to war. o yeah.




    Message Edited on 07/15/0310:26PM by ViperRaGe
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  10. #10
    XyZspineZyX
    Guest
    ViperRaGe wrote:
    - o yeah that some great logic for going to war....
    -
    -
    - We should just forget about going to war with iraq
    - because of WMD.... get the truth out. Desert Storm 2
    - was only another attempt to creat a new reality.
    -
    - I mean what could be better for american views? A
    - full blown war on there TV! That's the real reason
    - we went to war. o yeah.


    I thought its because we ran out of *sses to kick in Afghanistan

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