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This Week: With the Marines in Iraq
This Week
February 11, 2005

This week on NOW:

As war rages on, the U.S. Army is desperately short of troops to secure Iraq. But are the Pentagon’s policies to keep up troop levels going too far? NOW reports on how the Pentagon has been forced to resort to what critics call a backdoor draft to deal with the severe troop shortage. The program examines the debate over these hard-line tactics, like extending tours of duty and reactivating semi-retired soldiers, and looks at their effects on families. The program features semi-retired Army Major Rick Howell, who recently was stunned to learn that he’s been called up to serve. "I have not been to a single day of military training in eight years and they want me to go back and be on active duty," he says. "That's a disservice to not only this country, but to those young men and women…who are being thrown into these units."

With talk of troop departure in the wake of the Iraqi election, NOW goes on the ground with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in an area south of Baghdad known as the Triangle of Death. Alongside Iraqi National Guard and police there, these Marines have battled tenacious and resilient rebels to a standstill. But how well would the Iraqis perform without America's help? Get a soldier's view of the fighting and an insider's look at the gap between the hopes and reality of the war.

In Depth

Marine in Iraq

Q & A: With the Marines in Iraq

American Troop Strength

Iraqi Police Officer
Defense Dollars in Perspective

America's Citizen Soldiers

Those Who Serve: Veterans Overview

WWII Recruitment Poster
Resources for Veterans

National Guard Unit Map

Focus on Iraq


Talk about America's military role in the world on the message boards.


Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.

Streaming Video

[NOTE: RealPlayer is required to view NOW segments.]

A Tought Act to Follow (8:08)

The Call Up (15:19)


The Call Up
Producer: Bryan Myers
Editor: Andrew Fredricks

A Tough Act to Follow
Correspondent: Bill Gentile
Editor: Andrew Fredricks

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