A Marine unit was denied Christmas with family and friends so that this new policy could be implemented. They were suppose to depart mid January but for some reason no one picked up on the idea that this early deployment was purely political and would have no impact on the ground...especially during the winter time out that is common in that particular theater.
Fast forward to early-mid Jan 2010. A crisis erupts on Haiti. The response is slow USAID and the State Dept are clearly incapable of leading this mission but because a bunch of Generals along with their civilian counterparts with a big dose of theorist thrown in had done table top exercises, they thought that they had it wired together.
They didn't. So first a MEU that just came off deployment had to reform, ask for volunteers and then headout to Haiti for the relief mission. Next, they decide that more forces are needed, so they assign the schedule MEU (the 24th) to the mission.
Lets not forget about our Army brothers. The 82nd has been tasked with this assignement
So what's the moral of this story? For the sake of a misguided relief mission. For the sake of politics because they don't want to look indecisive. For the sake of people thinking with their hearts and not their brains.
WE HAVE TWO OF OUR MOST RESPONSIVE QUICK REACTION FORCE UNITS TIED UP IN A RELIEF MISSION!
What happens if trouble erupts in the middle east? The 82nd Airborne and US Air Force transport planes are tied up. Can't call on the Navy/Marine Team because the 24th MEU and the Expeditionary Strike Group that is suppose to be patrolling the water is nowhere near there.
We have screwed up our unit rotation schedule. We have put our forces on a thin limb in Afghanistan/Iraq. We have left the Iranians with a golden opportunity to do harm (if they chose to do so) because our planning and our response to this situation has been so jacked up.
What really irks me about the whole thing is that the professional blogging community continues to refuse to answer the hard questions about this relief effort. That is the problem with allowing the military to stick its nose under the tent of blogging. Eventually it will extend to social media. Most of these blogs (especially those sponsored by advocacy groups) will not rock the boat, REFUSE TO ASK HARD QUESTIONS...and will silence those who do. I smell Bullshit.