Reporter question: "Does this prove that the military is broken?"
Casey's reply, "Our forces are stretched. THere's no questioni abou that. IT is an attempt, to instead of dribbling out notices, just in time-- to provide to troops how long their deployment will be..."
All units there and all units that will deploy are now extended to 15 months.
Reporter Question. Wny not tell the troops and families ahead of time, as is usual?
Some very thoughtless person in this building made the unilateral decision yesterday to deny the army the ability to allow unit commanders to notify their troops 24 to 48 hours before an announcement.
The troops will, after 12 months, receive an extra thousand dollars a month for extended stay pay.
Gates: "Will maintain the capability of that level for at least a year from now."
"My hope is that the surge is a matter of months rather than a matter of years."
Some unasked questions:
What damage will this do to military families?
What effect on the number of deaths-- military and Iraqi civilian?
What effect will this have on the rates of wounded and post traumatic stress disorder?
What part of keeping active duty military away from their family for an extra three months is "supporting the troops?"
Gates observed, "I'm surprised at the level of excitement over this."
The plan is for the troops to spend 15 months deployed and then to be in the states for 12 months. Casey says that ultimately the goal is to be int he states for 24 months and deployed for 12 months.