In a op-ed in the LA Times, called The battle of Iraq’s wounded Linda Bilmes points out that the number of wounded servicemen and women from the Iraq war/occupation is incredibly high relative to the 3,000 deaths. Something like 50,000. And once the current generation is discharged from the army, the VA —which is already stretched— is going to be overwhelmed.
I’ve just read Imperial Life in the Emerald City which is a mind-blowing account of exactly how screwed up the initial occupation of Iraq was. Not only was there no plan of any form before the invasion for what the occupation ought to be like, but the only people who were thinking rationally in advance about what it should have been like (in State and other departments) were forcibly prevented from getting involved. I thoroughly recommend the book (by WaPo reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran).
But, as if you needed to know after their “preparations” for occupied Iraq and Katrina, it’s for sure that this Administration has done no planning for the wave of disabled veterans that’s about to hit the VA. Now that they finally control the purse strings, let’s hope the Democrats can do better.