Thursday, March 01, 2007

US Troops being sent to Iraq without Training

The Republicans called the threat of the Democratic lead Congress to withhold funds for troops- "slow bleed".

But what the Democrats in Congress were really trying to do, is to make sure that the Presidents new "surge" of troops would be adequately trained and have sufficient equitment.

Somehow the Democrats didn't trust the administration to care that much about the troops.

Rushed by President Bush's decision to reinforce Baghdad with thousands more U.S. troops, two Army combat brigades are skipping their usual session at the Army's premier training range in California and instead are making final preparations at their home bases.

Some in Congress and others outside the Army are beginning to question the switch, which is not widely known. They wonder whether it means the Army is cutting corners in preparing soldiers for combat, since they are forgoing training in a desert setting that was designed specially to prepare them for the challenges of Iraq.

But as the Democrats were slow to provide politically exceptable wording for their plan- the Administration went ahead sending in the troops. Press Secretary Tony Snow took some questions about this:

Q There was also a report this morning that two Army combat brigades are being sent to Iraq without desert training -- the Associated Press has a story out today -- and that it's because they're being rushed to Iraq to help get the surge in place.

MR. SNOW: Again, let me stress, what happens is, a lot of times you will also do training in theaters, as well as equipping in theater. The generals have made it very clear, and military commanders have made it clear, nobody is going to go into combat activity without proper equipment and training. Period. So if things --

Q But the story flatly says that two brigades are going in without desert training in California. So that doesn't sound like --

MR. SNOW: All right, I understand.

Q -- they're getting the training.

MR. SNOW: Well, but they can get desert training elsewhere, like in Iraq.

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