Date: May 11, 2004

Unpublished

I am not a supporter of the Iraq war, but many Americans are.

The support in this constituency will dwindle for two reasons: the on-going conflict in Iraq and the inept prosecution of the war. There is not a lot to do about the former except to soldier on; but the Administration can do a lot about the prosecution of the war.

The most inequitable feature of the way in which this war is being carried out is the way in which tours of duty are being extended -- often at short notice. This plays havoc with people's lives and with their family members' lives and, for those in the reserve, for their employers' plans. I cannot believe that there are no other troops available to rotate into Iraq to relieve the men and women who have served through the brunt of the war and the recent insurrection. I suspect that the reason for extending the duty tours of those currently in Iraq is that, like overtime, it is cheaper than deploying new troops.

It may be cheaper, but it is grossly unfair.

Many people say that Secretary Rumsfeld should stay in office because it would be a mistake to switch Defense Secretaries in mid-war. I think this is incorrect, his successor could scarcely do a worse job.