Wednesday, August 23, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a vocal critic of the Iraq war, is using the news about a recall of discharged Marines as another opportunity to demand an immediate troop withdrawal in Iraq.
For the first time since the Iraq war began, up to 2,500 discharged Marines will be recalled to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan to make up for shortages of specialists, the Boston Globe reported.
"This recall is just another sign of how badly the war in Iraq is going," said Murtha in a statement Wednesday.
"Bringing these Marines back to active duty after their tour of service was complete shows we are unable [to] recruit the necessary volunteers to maintain troop levels in our armed forces. It also shows that at a time when we should be bringing our fighting men and women home from Iraq, we're sending more over there," he said.
Murtha said young men and women are not joining the military because of war "mismanagement" and "all the killing and maiming in Iraq." In addition to the recalls, the military also has increased the age limit for soldiers, Murtha noted.
"If everything were going as well as predicted or depicted by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld, we would be fulfilling field commander's (sic) desires of earlier this year to reduce troops. Instead we're going to extraordinary means to increase them," Murtha said.
Marine Col. Guy A. Stratton, the head of the Marines' Manpower Mobilization Section, was quoted as saying that the military needs at least 1,200 Marines to fill certain positions in upcoming deployments.
"Since this is going to be a long war, we thought it was judicious and prudent at this time to be able to use a relatively small portion of those Marines to help us augment our units."
Some of the military needs, he said, include engineers, intelligence, military police and communications.
There are about 138,000 U.S. troops currently serving in Iraq.
"We must redeploy our troops now and leave this war to be settled by the Iraqis," Murtha said. Make media inquiries or request an interview with Monisha Bansal.
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