Murphy's Law: Bean Counters Go To War


April 29, 2007: When the U.S. Department of Defense announced that army troops would have their 12 month tours in Iraq extended to fifteen months, it was believed that a troop shortage was the reason. Well, that's what the Department of Defense was content to let the media and pundits rattle on about. But the real reason was money. Political grandstanding has delayed the cash for Iraq operations, and that causes all manner of administrative problems. A simple solution for many of those problems (which are difficult to describe in 25 words or less) was to simply extend the duty tours by three months. This actually costs some extra money, as troops are given extra pay and vacation days when they serve more than twelve months in a tour of duty. But in the end, being able to delay call ups and troops movements by three months, provides time for Congress to come up with the needed money, and for the bean counters to prevent legal and administrative problems arising from the absence of cash or credit.


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