Surging Deployment Time

The New York Times writes a bit about the human consequences of extending tours in Iraq from 12 months to 15 months, the preferred method of increasing force levels in Iraq in the context of a badly stretched Army. People grumble but, of course, are prepared to do their duty and serve as ordered. For the longer haul, however, one wonders over and over again about the implications for the miitary of the way people have been treated for the past several years. The All-Volunteer Force which, among other things, skews substantially older and more married (with more kids) than the conscript forces of yore, has never really been put to the test in this way previously. Certain expectations built up in the 1980s and 1990s of what enlisting entailed, and Iraq has shattered those expectations on several fronts. About half the West Point classes of 2000 and 2001 have already left the service.