Memento Mori:

As we close the year, Greyhawk reminds us of what has passed.

The only thing needed to really sell the story was a brigade to actually be "shifted" from a planned Iraq rotation. There were plenty available, but the lucky one chosen to earn Obama his headline (and an all too brief bump in American popularity polls) was the 2nd Infantry Division's 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
Like previous Stryker brigades, the 5th Brigade has put dozens of its troops through intensive, 10-month Arabic language training. They were tested in exercises last month....
Those months of training and preparation were scrapped (one example: they don't speak Arabic in Afghanistan) so the phrase "Barack Obama diverts 17,000 soldiers from Iraq to Afghanistan" could appear in newspapers. But while a reduction in force in Iraq as a result of greatly improved conditions there would be both welcome and overdue (and military units go where they're needed), that part of the story was the real "big lie". A mere few days later, the Obama administration would rather quietly announce that "Gen. Odierno will receive a Stryker Brigade to replace the incoming replacement brigade diverted to Afghanistan just a week ago." The 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division was scheduled to deploy to Iraq "several months ahead of the original schedule, Army officials said Monday."

Some comments from those most affected here. But while it was certainly a big story here last year, unlike the news coverage of Obama's "Iraq drawdown" and "diversion of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan", the revelation that it was all actually a complete fraud (and in fact an overall increase in troops in the combat zones) would pass without notice in the American media.


End of year update: Where are they now?...

The 5th is in Afghanistan:

Stryker soldiers say commanders failed them

...In late November, brigade commander Col. Harry Tunnell decided a change had to be made. He replaced Capt. Joel Kassulke, the commander of 1-17's Charlie Company, which had taken 12 of the casualties.

But Kassulke's former soldiers say that not only was he not to blame for the casualties, the 1-17's problems started much, much earlier.

Mismatched training

...The battalion had spent much of the previous two years training for combat, but preparing for the wrong theater -- until February, when it got orders for Afghanistan, 1-17 was scheduled to deploy to Iraq.
Michael Yon has a moving photo essay of their memorial to the soldiers they've lost on this mission.

Greyhawk ends, "Barack Obama is still President of the United States, and recently received the Nobel Peace Prize."

Finally, remember our comrades from the CIA -- that part of the Agency that gets out there, and does what needs to be done. Like the ePRTs from the State Department, regardless of the difficulties of their parent bureaucracy, the ones who 'ride out' are our own kind.

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