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Strykers All Over the Map

U.S. Army Soldiers of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division patrol through Rashidiyah, Iraq, Oct. 6, 2007. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Russell Bassett)

U.S. Army Soldiers of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division patrol through Rashidiyah, Iraq, Oct. 6, 2007. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Russell Bassett)

Greyhawk points out the confirmation of something we were already pretty sure was going to happen:

Shifting one Stryker brigade slated for Iraq to Afghanistan just meant that a different Stryker brigade would have to deploy to Iraq to take its place.

But Greyhawk makes an observation that had not occurred to me:

Read the first entry in this series for details of the preparations made by the Stryker Brigade for an Iraq deployment – 10-month Arabic language schools being just part of the training rendered useless by a reassignment to a country where the locals don’t speak it.

Of course, “intensive, 10-month Arabic language training” and “exercises… where they had to help their commanders negotiate with native-speaker role players” were now useless – but if they were no longer needed in Iraq, so be it.

But they were needed in Iraq – just not as badly as the Obama administration needed to make it appear that troops initially slotted for Iraq were going to Afghanistan instead – seemingly making good on a key campaign promise. So with much fanfare the Iraq drawdown (consisting entirely of the Stryker Brigade)/Afghanistan surge (Strykers plus a Marine unit) was announced, and subsequent polls indicated Americans were wildly enthusiastic about the idea.

Let’s recall a previous Stryker brigade deployment moved up in the schedule: The latest “rush to war” in which the media fell over itself fretting about units being “surged” into Iraq by President Bush without having completed all of the planned training.

Which unit was that particular article about? Oh, it was the 4th Brigade, 2nd Division. The same brigade that is being sent to Iraq early to fill in for the brigade being shifted to Afghanistan. I wonder where all the hysterics over sending unprepared troops into the combat zone are this time around. (Not really.)

How the times have changed.



  • Bram says:

    Did they ever explain how a heavy brigade is going to get to Afghanistan? Are they flying them all in? Or driving (fighting) their way through Pakistan?

  • FYI, the Stryker Brigade going to Afghanistan was in the works well before The One took office. At least as far back as November, and maybe even before the election. I just don’t trust my memory that far back. But Bush & Co decided to leave the final decision up to the incoming administration.

    They may well fly them in, at least the Strykers themselves. They would make far too juicy a political target for the Taliban in the Khyber or Chaman pass regions.

  • Flanker says:

    Who planned what, and when, is all well and fine. The fact remains shifting a unit from an AO, after they’ve accumulated substantial institutional knowledge of the AO, the “human terrain” (ours as well as the bad guys) there, and the thousand and one other details peculiar to any tour for another equivilent unit that has NONE OF THAT makes little sense. Sending the CONUS brigade directly to the Stan make much better sense………..that way you’ve only got one brigade learning a new AO. But hey! That’s just me. In fairness……mayb there’s more to it than I’m seeing.

  • [...] SBCT is the brigade that was accelerated for deployment after 5/2 SBCT’s deployment was shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan, and the same unit which the media fretted about being sent to Iraq without enough training. Seems [...]

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