Singer makes the point that the military welcomes the extra troop count there are some unintended and negative consequences of the surge.
- The military requested between 35K to 110K troops, they got 20k - it is a Two year program - The “Surge” is really a “Stretch” “Army troops originally were going to be there 12 months. Now, many will be there 16 months. For Marines, their deployments will be extended from seven to 12 months. For many of the troops, this will be their third or more deployment, making this extension even more raw for them, and especially their spouses and children who were expecting them home earlier. A concern in our largely married military is the effect of such repeated deployments on families and the corresponding steady rise in divorce rates”
In 6 months the follow-up deployment will require lifting limits on the 24 month cumulative Reserve and National Guard call-ups
“the new policy will squeeze the training, deployment and demobilization into a maximum of 12 months. This new expedited program will raise concerns among troops and their families that it risks sending in unprepared units.”The high rotation also flies in the face of counterinsurgency which assumes that soldiers build trust and relationships with locals. More importantly the “Build” part of Clear Hold and Build” is lacking any plan or substantive backup.
“ the doubling of PRTs sounds impressive, it actually comes out to just over 150 civilians, a drop in the bucket for what is really required.”
Singer sees a shortage in new equipment required for dealing with IED’s. “ electronic jammers that disrupt signals sent by insurgents to explode improvised explosive devices, or vehicles like the Cougar or the M117, which, unlike the Humvee, are designed to protect against mines and explosives.”
Singer is careful to point out that the troops will suck up longer and multiple deployments and even the lack of new generation equipment but at some point the effect will be felt.
“A fear voiced by military officers is of an increasing number of troops voting with their feet in the years ahead because of unmet expectations and the sense that there are only so many times one can deploy and redeploy. The more the force feels that promises to it have been broken, the more we must worry that the force itself becomes broken.”