Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"There are limits to human endurance."

I'm currently watching Senate Armed Forces Committee on c-span3. They're discussing the state of the U.S. Army with Secretary of the Army nominee Preston Geren. What most strikes me about this hearing is the overall tone of sadness and weariness not only among the members of the committee, democrats and republicans alike (the nauseating Lieberman excluded), but also from the nominee himself. He's saying all the things he needs to say, but there's a noticeable absence of happy talk.

Quote of the day (so far) comes from Senator John Warner:
    "There are limits to human endurance. We have to recognize that."
One fact that just slid by is that "influencers" - parents and relatives of potential National Guard members - are now actively discouraging their children from joining. And why would they not? Still, coming from families who take pride in many successive generations' service, it's a poignant reminder of how much damage the Bush administration has inflicted on the armed forces it so professes to love.

Geren seems like a good enough and thoughtful guy about to engage in an unforgiving cause.

One question, though. If the army is meeting its recruitment goals, why do they keep extending the length of tours? Why do they have soldiers going back to Iraq over and over again?

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