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Army Involuntary Mobilization

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U.S. Army plans involuntary call-up

Thousands of reserve troops to be notified of possible deployment


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army is planning an involuntary mobilization of thousands of reserve troops to maintain adequate force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, defense officials said? Monday.


The move -- involving the seldom-tapped Individual Ready Reserve -- represents the latest evidence of the strain being placed on the U.S. military, particularly the Army, by operations in those two countries.


Roughly 5,600 soldiers from the ready reserve will be notified of possible deployment this year, including some soldiers who will be notified within a month, said an Army official speaking on condition of anonymity.


A senior defense official said, ?These individuals are being called back to fill specific shortages for specific jobs.?


The official said the last time the Individual Ready Reserve, mainly made up of soldiers who have completed their active duty obligations, was mobilized in any significant numbers was during the 1991 Gulf War.


Army officials are in the process of briefing members of Congress on the mobilization and plan a formal announcement on Wednesday.


The Army official said the mobilization ?will be through the rest of the year. Some could be within a month.?


?It would be an involuntary measure, an involuntary mobilization,? the Army official said. ?It?s approximately 5,600.?


?We?re not calling up units, we?re just using all the existing assets in theater and we?re augmenting those assets with these individuals -- various occupational specialties, various different types of officers running the whole gamut,? the Army official said.


The official said military police and civil affairs personnel were among the specialties involved.


The defense official said that while soldiers in the Individual Ready Reserve have served their voluntary obligation in the Army they still can be mobilized involuntarily for several years after returning to civilian life.


?Sometimes there?s a misperception by some of the individuals ... that ?I?ve done my obligation, I?ve been in the Army, thank you very much, and I?m done?. But you?re not done,? the official said.


The Pentagon had originally planned to reduce the number of American troops in Iraq to approximately 110,000 by now, but continuing security problems compelled officials to maintain a level of about 138,000 troops.? Officials have said they planned to maintain that number through the end of 2005.


The United Sates has another 20,000 troops in Afghanistan.


This spring, the Pentagon delayed by about three months the scheduled departure from Iraq of roughly 20,000 U.S. troops.


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What exactly is an "involuntary" call-up?


Is this as opposed to a situation where a bunch of reservists just show up at HQ on a Tuesday night and demand to be called into active duty for no reason other than they are bored? Would that be voluntary?


Pathetically misleading and vague euphemism, even for the military.


Anyway, they are just calling up specific people for specific purposes, i.e. We need an orthopedist, you're an orthopedist, you are in the reserve, so you go.


Not really alarming, nor is it a sign of a draft, or the US military spreading itself too thin, blah blah blah.

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