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Stinger
14 Aug 03,, 19:19
Washington -- The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.

Unless Congress and President Bush take quick action when Congress returns after Labor Day, the uniformed Americans in Iraq and the 9,000 in Afghanistan will lose a pay increase approved last April of $75 a month in "imminent danger pay" and $150 a month in "family separation allowances."

The Defense Department supports the cuts, saying its budget can't sustain the higher payments amid a host of other priorities. But the proposed cuts have stirred anger among military families and veterans' groups and even prompted an editorial attack in the Army Times, a weekly newspaper for military personnel and their families that is seldom so outspoken.

Congress made the April pay increases retroactive to Oct. 1, 2002, but they are set to expire when the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30 unless Congress votes to keep them as part of its annual defense appropriations legislation.

Imminent danger pay, given to Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force members in combat zones, was raised to $225 from $150 a month. The family separation allowance, which goes to help military families pay rent, child care or other expenses while soldiers are away, was raised from $100 a month to $250.

Last month, the Pentagon sent Congress an interim budget report saying the extra $225 monthly for the two pay categories was costing about $25 million more a month, or $300 million for a full year. In its "appeals package" laying out its requests for cuts in pending congressional spending legislation, Pentagon officials recommended returning to the old, lower rates of special pay and said military experts would study the question of combat pay in coming months.


Not good, somebody(congress) better fix this.

rest of story

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/08/14/MN94780.DTL&type=printable

bigross86
14 Aug 03,, 19:21
I thought the Pentagon and the DoD were there to support the troops!

Stinger
14 Aug 03,, 19:25
I have a decidely cynical view of the "five sided windtunnel on the Potomac" however they are likely looking at overall budgeting and when all is said and done the grunt on the line usually gets the shit end of the stick pay wise.

bigross86
14 Aug 03,, 19:31
If they absolutely NEED to cut back, than fine, but the least they can do is cut back half way or so and still give our troops out there extra. And what happened to the trillion dollar budget surplus?

Bill
14 Aug 03,, 23:59
This is infuriating.

Fucking weasels.

Stinger
15 Aug 03,, 13:29
What can the guys do when their fucking boses stab them in the back like that?

"No really our men don't NEED more money, they enjoy being able to use food stamps. Now why don't we go on out and play a round of golf... we'll just go out to the golf course at (name a base)."

ChrisF202
15 Aug 03,, 13:38
They constantly do the opposite of what is needed to mantain good morale.

Blackclaw
15 Aug 03,, 13:42
Here's some more info I found:

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By Charles Aldinger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Moving to quash a political firestorm, the Pentagon (news - web sites) on Thursday denied that it will cut the pay of nearly 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites) by $225 on Sept. 30 when special military pay hikes approved by Congress are due to expire.

Defense officials said that even if lawmakers do not reinstate increases passed in April in both "imminent danger pay" and "family separation allowances," the Pentagon will make up the pay losses to troops in those countries in other ways.

Undersecretary of Defense David Chu answered sharp criticism from Democratic presidential candidates over a press report that the Pentagon favored cutting the pay of combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan because it supported letting the special increases expire.

"No one ever said we wanted to reduce pay in Iraq and Afghanistan," Chu, who is in charge of military personnel and readiness, told reporters.

"We prefer other compensation powers to ensure that we target benefits on the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan," he added, citing incentive and other packages that the Pentagon is authorized to use.

Chu spoke after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Pentagon wanted to cut the pay of nearly 149,000 troops in Iraq and another 9,000 in Afghanistan because it supported the expiration of increases of $75 monthly in danger pay and $150 in family separation pay.

SPECIAL PAY FOR COMBAT, SEPARATION

Imminent danger pay, given to members of the armed forces in combat zones, was raised to $225 from $150 a month by Congress in April for the current fiscal year.

The family separation allowance, which helps military families pay expenses while troops are away, was raised from $100 a month to $250.

Democrats running to succeed President Bush (news - web sites) in next year's election on Thursday launched a barrage of criticism based on the report.

Sen. John Kerry (news, bio, voting record) of Massachusetts said it made his "blood boil," Sen. Joseph Lieberman (news, bio, voting record) of Connecticut called it "unconscionable" and Sen. Bob Graham (news, bio, voting record) of Florida said it was "seriously wrong."

"The Bush administration questions the patriotism of those who ask questions about how you win a war," Kerry said, "but I know no deeper violation of patriotism than dishonoring those who wear the uniform of our nation and breaking our promises to our soldiers."

But Chu and Defense Department spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the Pentagon planned all along to use incentive and other measures to keep paychecks in Afghanistan and Iraq at current levels, even if danger and family separation pay went down.

"There is no intention of allowing compensation for those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to fall," Chu said.

"The premise that we would somehow disadvantage U.S. forces in combat is absurd," added Di Rita.

They said that the pay of troops serving in Kuwait near Iraq was also unlikely to change.

Chu conceded that the pay of some U.S. troops serving in other difficult areas of the world could fall if Congress did not reinstate the incentive increases, but that the Pentagon favored an end to the broad package as it constantly reviewed compensation in different deployment areas.

"It (the package) is too broad-based. It's like using a sledge hammer to hit a small nail," he told reporters.
-----------------------

The whole thing sounds weaselly to me. "to use incentive and other measures to keep paychecks in Afghanistan and Iraq at current levels" - What the hell does that mean? Are the incentives tied to things like having to re-enlist?

But the bottom line is still this

"Chu conceded that the pay of some U.S. troops serving in other difficult areas of the world could fall if Congress did not reinstate the incentive increases, but that the Pentagon favored an end to the broad package as it constantly reviewed compensation in different deployment areas. "

I've already written to my Representative in Congress.

Find your Representative here:

http://www.house.gov/Welcome.html

Bill
15 Aug 03,, 15:17
I called Specter last evening and let one of his staffers have it with both barrels.

Stinger
15 Aug 03,, 15:58
Sounds like Damage control by the Pentagon, but it could be that the report I had was written by an over zealus reporter too.

ChrisF202
15 Aug 03,, 16:17
maybe, it could just be playing the role of "newsmaker"