Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Troops in Iraq face pay cut

The Evil Genius

Recommended Posts

How along until Clinton is blamed here for this one? :rolleyes:

Troops in Iraq face pay cut

Pentagon says tough duty bonuses are budget-buster

Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau Thursday, August 14, 2003

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.


A White House spokesman referred questions about the administration's view on the pay cut to the Pentagon report.

Military families have started hearing about the looming pay reductions, and many aren't happy.

They say duty in Iraq is dangerous -- 60 Americans have died in combat- related incidents since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on May 1. Another 69 have been killed by disease, the heat or in accidents.

"Every person they see is a threat. They have no idea who is an enemy or who is a friend," said Larry Syverson, 54, of Richmond, Va., whose two sons, Brandon, 31, and Bryce, 25, are serving in Iraq. Syverson appeared with other military families at a Washington, D.C., news conference to publicize efforts to bring the troops home.

"You can get shot in the head when you go to buy a Coke," added Syverson, referring to an incident at a Baghdad University cafeteria on July 6 when an Army sergeant was shot and killed after buying a soda.


Susan Schuman of Shelburne Falls, Mass., said her son, Army National Guard Sgt. Justin Schuman, had told her "it's really scary" serving in Samarra, a town about 20 miles from Saddam Hussein's ancestral hometown of Tikrit.

Schuman, who like Syverson has become active in a group of military families that want service personnel pulled out of Iraq, said the pay cut possibility didn't surprise her.

"It's all part of the lie of the Bush administration, that they say they support our troops," she said.

It's rare for the independent Army Times, which is distributed widely among Army personnel, to blast the Pentagon, the White House and the Congress. But in this instance, the paper has said in recent editorials that Congress was wrong to make the pay raises temporary, and the Pentagon is wrong to call for a rollback.

"The bottom line: If the Bush administration felt in April that conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan warranted increases in danger pay and family separation allowances, it cannot plausibly argue that the higher rates are not still warranted today," the paper said in an editorial in its current edition.

On Capitol Hill, members say the issue will be taken up quickly after the summer recess when a conference committee meets to negotiate conflicting versions of the $369 billion defense appropriations bill.

"You can't put a price tag on their service and sacrifice, but one of the priorities of this bill has got to be ensuring our servicemen and women in imminent danger are compensated for it," said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

"Since President Bush declared 'mission accomplished' on May 1, 126 American soldiers have died in Iraq, and we are losing more every day," Tauscher said. "If that's not imminent danger, I don't know what is."

The Senate bill calls for making permanent the increases in combat pay -- the first in more than a decade -- for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House wants to pay more for service in those two countries than for such duties as peacekeeping in the Balkans. With the money saved, the House wants to increase the size of the active military by 6,200 troops.

What won't be clear until Congress returns is whether the Pentagon will lobby against keeping the increase.

The Pentagon reiterated Wednesday that its goal was for service personnel to rotate out of Iraq after a maximum of a year in that country. Units of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which played a major role in last March's invasion, have already come home.


By the numbers

U.S. troops in Iraq: 148,000

U.S. troops in Afghanistan: 9,000

Imminent danger pay: $225 per month, but is scheduled to drop to $150 a month

Family separation allowances: $250 per month, but scheduled to drop to $100 per month

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let the "BLAME CLINTON CAMPAIGN" begin. Kilemer, Fanthats62, are you guys kidding me. What Vaccum do you two live in. I'm pretty sure that you two are dreaming up way to spin this in Bush's favor. This whole thing stinks.

Rarely do I say this to someone on the board, but dude, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. I'm not sure what agenda the guy that wrote this has, but this is not news. THis type crap happens EVERY year when the end of the fiscal year is up. All the extra bennies we get when we go nasty places come up for review, that way, if it's not dangerous to go there any longer , the extra pay is stopped. After all, it's not called hazardous duty pay for nothing.

And then, to "justify" this piece of sh!t article, this clown goes and gets quotes from family membrs that are already whining to bring their kids home. I'm sure the soldiers of those parents in Iraq and Afganistan are real proud of their parents right about now. Unless of course they are the breed of sh!ts that come in to reap the educational benifits and claim they were never told they might have to go fight a war somewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Air Sarge

Unless of course they are the breed of sh!ts that come in to reap the educational benifits and claim they were never told they might have to go fight a war somewhere.

Amen to that. Nothing pisses me off more than that. Granted I have not served so I can't say much, but still, if you take the "gamble" of going for a free education, then don't ***** when things don't work out exactly how you had hoped they would. They aren't teaching you to use that M-16 as a joke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bufford T Justice

I blame Clinton for how fat my portfolio got during his years.

Fair enough, as long as you blame him for the recession that started during his presidency, the collapse of the tech industry that occurred on his watch etc.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about the $22 billion the Defense Dept. cannot account for in the last three years. That's $22 BILLION of Taxpayer money that went to pay for lapdances, cars, house payments, and home improvements to the many "FORTUNATE" owners of Govt. credit cards.

Let me ask you, if this was a private or public company and these company funds were "lost", don't you think someone would be held accountable? Why isn't the govt. being held responsible?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by OURYEAR#56

Let the "BLAME CLINTON CAMPAIGN" begin. Kilemer, Fanthats62, are you guys kidding me. What Vaccum do you two live in. I'm pretty sure that you two are dreaming up way to spin this in Bush's favor. This whole thing stinks.

OurYear....what do you know about it? They live in the vacuum where people can spell, post intelligently, and drive without an adult in the car with them. Yeah...those b@stards at the Pentagon care nothing about the troops, right? Bush is pro-military and no amount of self-induced nosebleeding changes that. They'll find a way to keep paying the combat pay. This is just another attempted cheap shot at the Bush Administration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GOP Congress, and my own intelligence to invest in tech stocks is what I credit for my portfolio getting fat.

Clinton, and Reno (under the table deals with Sun/solaris, etc) suing Bill Gates and the subsequent domino effect on the stocks falling during the hearing is what also drew my ire.

Send those desk jockeys back into the field and lets see the shoe on the other foot.

If you could recoup the funds in fraud waste and abuse alone.....

We should see money for hazardous duty pay in a package soon and this will be moot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...