14 April, 2007

Congress is...

... going to kill the military. Secretary Gates was right, if the Defense Authorization Act for FY07 isn't passed soon the entire military, and our families, will suffer.

How did I come to this conclusion? Simple - the 2007 Strength Maintenance Conference.

Every year the National Guard has the Strength Maintenance Conference where all the big-wigs get together and discuss recruiting issues. They have each state's Recruiting Commander come, the SGMs, the team commanders, and many of the team NCOICs. They also invite a select number of recruiters and their spouses. They make a big hoop-tee-doo about it and it's apparently a pretty good time.

This year they invited 1500 recruiters and their spouses. Yours truly was invited but for some reason they wouldn't book a plane ticket for my blow-up doll I lovingly call my wife.

This year's conference is going to be in St. Louis. I've never been to St. Louis so I was pretty excited. Some of my recruiting buddies were also invited so it was sure to be a good time. They were going to have a BBQ for us, an auction, an event for us and our spouses (nobody said what they were going to do with the single soldiers), and many other activities.

This year turned out to be different though.

This year they canceled pretty much the whole thing due to lack of funding.

Secretary Gates warned that if the budget wasn't approved soon, the military would start to suffer. It is now apparent that the military is running out of money. How long is it until the suffering begins?

I've never understood why, with our fiscal years starting on 1 October, that we didn't get our budget approved around.... well.... 1 October. But hey, that's the way it's always been I guess, we get it a little late.

Last year it was approved in January if I remember correctly.

It's now April.

I wonder what changed from last year to this year?

Oh yeah, Congress

So Congress has decided to micro-manage the war - surely not in their job description (at least it wasn't in the Constitution the last time I checked). They're doing it the only way they know they can - control the money.

The President warned months ago that if Congress passed the budget with a stipulation for pulling out of Iraq he would veto it. He told them to not even debate the bill if it called for a pull out. He said just approve the budget and debate the war later - too many troops lives were at stake.

Congress didn't listen - they debated the bill, but didn't have enough votes to pass it. What did they do next? They filled it with pork and bought enough votes to pass the bill - but not enough for a veto.

The President vetoed it and said take out the Iraq retreat and he'll pass it.

Congress refused.

No Congress and the President are in a stand-off - and every Soldier, Sailor, Marine, and Airman's life hangs in the balance.

The Democrats want the war to end, sooner rather than later - no matter the consequences

The Republicans want to win the war - no matter the cost.

The Democrats are going to hold off for as long as possible on this one. They are going to wait until the President MUST sign their bill because the DoD is that broke. They're going to wait until we don't get our paychecks and then blame it all on the President.

The cancellation of the Strength Maintenance Conference made me realize something: If they're canceling this conference - what else is going to be canceled? That next shipment of .50 cal ammo? That new HMMWV that is replacing the one that got hit by an IED last week? That new SAPPI plate to replace the one that took a round from an insurgent yesterday? More IV Bags that all the heat casualties use? That new shipment of plasma for the medics to use? That new supply of blood to keep our wounded soldiers alive?

Once the money is gone - where will the suffering begin?

I think Congress has a lot of explaining to do - and fast! We might work for them - but we vote their asses into office......

I guess I would hate to have to explain that somebody's father, or brother, or son died because Nanci Pelosi had to prove she has a bigger dick than the President.

Anybody else feel the same way?


Flag Gazer said...

I feel the same way - only I think you put it quite kindly...

Your summation sentence is EXACTLY what is happening...

Stop by and see my Faces of America post.

Mr Bob said...

I agree with you, although I am glad the president is a dick to Nancy Pelosi and the democrats. Someone has to stand up to their foolishness.

Keep up the good work.

Politics of a Patriot said...

I'm with Bob on this one.

The Elephant said...

I'm not buying that the cancellation of a recruiter conference necessarily has anything to do with the bill. Sure, there's no funding, but that doesn't mean there isn't enough money for the military. It just means the military has decided to not allocate that money to that particular event.

Keep some perspective, it's a recruiting conference in St. Louis, not an ammo or supply shipment to Iraq.

The military will get its money for the war, in supplementals if nothing else. The Dems are going to milk to bill for as much political capital as they can, but they're not going to actually cut off funding to troops in the field- doing that would instantly make the party unelectable, thus defeating the purpose of the exercise. The Dems live in political environment too, and they actually want to win in 2008, probably more than they want the war to end.