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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Billmon Goes Medieval on the Army's Stop-Loss Policy

Bartending Billmon at the Whiskey Bar pours it on

There have been numerous past civilizations in which military service became a lifelong, hereditary obligation, passed down from father to son - usually in exchange for land grants or other economic benefits. Some of our soldiers must be wondering whether the United States is evolving in that same direction:

Army widens 'stop-loss' program

The Army will prevent soldiers in units set to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan from leaving the service at the end of their terms, a top general said Wednesday.

The announcement, an expansion of an Army program called "stop-loss," means that thousands of soldiers who had expected to retire or otherwise leave the military will have to stay on for the duration of their deployment to those combat zones.

Since we've reached the point where just about every active duty unit in the Army is either in Iraq or Afghanistan, or will soon return there, it seems like it's become something of an Orwellian euphemism to speak of a "volunteer army."

When the Pentagon starts extending stop loss orders to the first-born sons and daughters of service people, I guess we'll know we've reached the next stage of feudalism.

All I have to add is this quote:

In democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.
-Mogens Jallberg