How many? 12,000.
Who? Army & Marine troops
Where? Fort Lewis and Camp Lejeune
I don't know anything about the units that have been tagged. Nor do I know anyone affiliated with them. Do any of you out there?
UPDATE: Per Yahoo! News: "The 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, with approximately 8,000 Marines will deploy to Afghanistan in late spring 2009," the Pentagon statement said. The 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Ft Lewis, Washington, will deploy approximately 4,000 soldiers to Afghanistan in mid-summer 2009. Approximately 5,000 additional troops to support these combat forces will receive deployment orders at a later date."
But I do know this: I worry that they are already war weary. I worry about their families. I worry that this insane up-tempo deployment cycle won't stop for years and years to come. I worry about what that will do to our military. What it will do to our troops. What it will do to their families.
I know this is needed. Needed to get the job done. Needed to oust Al Queda and put the proverbial boot to the throat of the Taliban. But what is the long term cost going to be after all that has already been asked of them?
I read this OpEd about how W turned our military forces into a neo-French Foreign Legion just now and I found it very interesting. I don't agree with everything he wrote (particularly the bit about 'hiding' troop deaths and the implication that Dover should be open to the media. I've already voiced my opinion on this here.) but I do think he raises some interesting points.
Do I think W used our troops as props rather than make choices that were in their best interests? Yes. Do I agree that we as US citizens have been alarmingly compliant and quiet about this war? Yes. Do I think that 'diversity' is necessary (by this I mean economic and societal) in our military in order for them to be something more than just a Warrior Class? Yes.
And finally, this:
Yes. I agree.
"... Shouldn't we wonder just why, despite all the reverent words about "our troops," we really seem to care so little about sending them back into the wilderness again and again?
Where indeed is the outcry?
The French Foreign Legionnaires knew better than to expect such an outcry: The elites for whom they fought didn't give a damn about what happened to them. Our military may not yet be a foreign legion -- but don't fool yourself, it's getting there."