As my colleage over at Omlettesoft feels, I also await the day where we feel there is no reason to be over in the Middle East basically achieving nothing and letting our soldiers die/get wounded for no reason. I was actually trying to imagine what it would be like if we brought everyone home, and sudden realization hit me –
Every single time we bring troops back from a war – in less than two years – the military (not necessarily the White House or Congress) starts cutting positions in the active duty forces. That means putting people who are expecting to spend at least 4 to 20 years in the service out of a job suddenly with legal precident (no wars, no need for large amounts of standing active duty soldiers). Some will filter out to National Guard units, but even those units will start dumping week-enders. “Sorry, we don’t need your services, so we’re going to short term your enlistment.”
Which makes me roll my eyes, because now here’s yet ANOTHER argument that Republicans and/or Conservatives are going to use to keep troops fully active in the Middle East – the lack of jobs. Which is a valid concern, but the answer doesn’t have to be keepin soldiers in conflict. It can be just telling the Pentagon to not kick soldiers out of the military branches. But no one thinks logically like that, especially when everyone’s trying to save money.
So the logic stands on the edge of Catch 22. They either risk their lives to stay employed or they come home safely and risk flooding the already weak job market. Which sucks and is not something people who stand in harm’s way in foreign nations should have to worry about.