What Happened to Increasing Soldiers’ Time Between Deployments?
John Soltz of VoteVets makes an absolutely crucial point in an interview with TPM’s Christina Bellantoni:
Soltz said VoteVets members are worried the policies such as the 2-year dwell time between deployments are “at risk” because “the math doesn’t add up.”
This is an under-noticed shift that I noted in my piece earlier this month about the paucity of soldiers available for the Afghanistan troop increase. Right now soldiers get a year in between year-long tours of duty. But in January, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that he and the Army wanted to increase so-called “dwell time” to two years for every year’s deployment by 2011. And that’s where things appear to remain. But, as Soltz notes, if the Army is going to sustain approximately 100,000 soldiers in Afghanistan for the next three years or so, it’s very unlikely that such dwell time increases can occur — even as the Army withdraws from Iraq.
That has yet to be explicitly addressed by Gates or others. Luckily, he’ll be on the Hill tomorrow testifying about Afghanistan. Will he be asked about the dwell time plan?