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Monday, August 29, 2005

National Guard Belongs in the Nation

Posted by Bob Brigham

Maybe Katrina will kickstart the debate on how Bush is destroying the National Guard. Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has been trying to get the conversation started for some time. From Roll Call:

It’s forest fire season in the Mountain West.

But if disaster were to strike in drought-stricken Montana, many of the people who would be expected to fight the fires are half a world away.

Fully half of Montana’s National Guard — and most of its helicopters — are deployed in Iraq. And Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is fired up about it.

Schweitzer wants to start a dialogue about the way the military has changed its ratio of active-duty to Reserve and Guard forces — a policy in place long before the war in Iraq but one whose full impact is only now being felt.

“One of the things they didn’t consider in this policy,” said Schweitzer, “is that there are governors who are commanders-in-chief of the Guard and they have important missions for them at home.”

We should never have to see quotes like this:

JACKSON BARRACKS -- When members of the Louisiana National Guard left for Iraq in October, they took a lot equipment with them. Dozens of high water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators are now abroad, and in the event of a major natural disaster that, could be a problem.

"The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the homeland security mission," said Lt. Colonel Pete Schneider with the LA National Guard.

I wrote about this yesterday because we need to have the debate about why the Louisiana National Guard is in Iraq instead of defending their state. Why?

Posted at 11:16 AM in International, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati


I remember hearing Gov Schweitzer talk about this on Larry King a while ago. Surprisingly I have not heard much else about it in the news lately. But I do know that the National Parks Service sent people from Ellis Island out to Idaho earlier this month to help battle the fires out there.

I hope everyone in New Orleans and along Katrina's path are OK, but I also hope that this helps to expose another glaring weakness in Bush's Iraq debacle.

Posted by: MattR [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 29, 2005 12:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment