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As Iraq spirals out of control…

Two headlines really tell the story of the impact of the disastrous Iraq military adventure by this President:

* Impact of police being sent to Iraq felt on street. Many cops are also in the National Guard reserves and the deployments are outpacing the ability of law enforcement agencies to add new staff. And guess what — crime on the streets is increasing.

The review, prepared for a law enforcement trade journal by Justice Department statistician Matthew Hickman, found that the number of military call-ups is outstripping the pace of new hires at a time when agencies are struggling to find new recruits, and as crime is ticking upward after several years of historically low crime rates.

..”This is a serious problem since (police executives) cannot place quotas on the number of reservists in their agencies,” according to the analysis, which said that about 2.2% of the estimated 683,600 full-time police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers across the nation are in the military reserves.

And guess what? Once these folks come back home after serving their country, risking life and limb, reservists are screwed over…

* Reserve troops facing job woes.

The number of reservists and National Guard members who say they have been reassigned, lost benefits or been fired from civilian jobs after returning from duty has increased by more than 70% over the past six years.

The sharp spike in complaints brought to the U.S. Labor Department reflects the extensive use of part-time soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the largest call up of reserves since the 1950-53 Korean War.

And for those small businesses that are forced to do without that person who’s on an endless deployment, the 1994 law which requires employers to give that returning reservist their old job — or an equivalent position — is an obvious burden as well when you have an open-ended morass such as Iraq.

The impact on the returning employee, the employer, the economy, and crime (as we saw above) when you have 500,000 of the 850,000 reservists and National Guard members deployed is simply brushed aside by the government. Way to go.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding