September 22, 2004
Myers: Call-ups expected after election
By Rick Maze
Times staff writer
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said there is no secret Bush administration plan to call up large numbers of Guard and reserve members after the Nov. 2 election.
“I can assure you there has never been any guidance to defer notification until after the presidential election,” Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said in a Sept. 20 letter to the House Armed Services Committee.
There will, however, be an announcement in November about the troop rotation plan for the next wave of U.S. forces deploying to Iraq. That deployment would not begin before May 2005, Myers said.
Myers’ letter is addressed to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. Hunter had asked for Myers’ comments after Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry accused the Bush administration Sept. 17 of hiding until after the elections the details of how many reservists would be called up in the next wave of mobilizations.
“This administration is planning yet another substantial call-up of reservists and Guard units immediately after the election,” Kerry said. “Hide it from people through the election, then make the move.”
Kerry cited “congressional leaders” as his source of information, and a key House Democrat — Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania — confirms he has been told there will be mobilization orders issued to include more use of the Individual Ready Reserve.
Myers’ statement backs up Murtha’s account. Myers said that 800 IRR members have been activated as of Sept. 15. The Pentagon wants to fill 5,600 slots by December and could ask even more IRR members to report, Myers said. “The skill sets that are in the highest demand are transportation, logisticians, mechanics, military police and engineers,” Myers said.
The election has nothing to do with the timing of the deployment announcement, Myers said. Instead, the Defense Department has set a target of providing four months’ notice for support units and six months’ notice to combat units, Myers said. The announcements are scheduled to give the units time to prepare.
Hunter accused Kerry of scaring troops and their families by making false allegations. “This comes as no surprise to me or any other member of Congress that has been paying attention,” Hunter said. “Instead of being criticized, the Pentagon should be commended for proceeding in a way that gives military families and loved ones time to plan and prepare for these rotations.
“Notifications for these rotations have been going on for months in plain view of members of the military, the public and Congress. The so-called secret plan is actually the beginning of the next scheduled rotation of troops in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
I'm being mobed in January.
We have known since May, hardly any concealing it.
I salute you Garand_Shooter!
The rumor mills also have Bush cutting and running out of Iraq shortly after the elections.
So, which is it?
Both of course...Those called up will act as crossing guards helping the others get home quicker.