"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union 2007: Brief Commentary and Civilian Reserve Corps?

No big surprise, but I watched the State of the Union address last night.
-Bush wore a blue tie (did you see it?)
-Both Obama and McCain were caught by cameras "resting their eyes"
-I don't think Hillary Clinton blinked.
-Nancy Pelosi couldn't stop blinking.
-It was always a race to see who could stand up the fastest in support of American soldiers or "the people": Cheney or Pelosi. Pelosi beat him a lot.
-I think that dude that saved that guy from the train in NYC should run for public office. He was great at waving and giving 'thumbs up', in fact, he couldn't stop doing it. Perfect politician material.

While much of it was a repeat of previous years, I did think this was interesting:
"A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time."

I'm seriously interested in finding out what he means by this and how he plans to establish such a corps. And I see I am not alone in this curiosity.

Wesley Clark made mention of his planfor a civilian reserve corps in October of 2003, which is more specific than any plan I've found thus far in the archives of whitehouse.gov, but if anyone has seen a detailed plan of implementing this new reserve corps, I'd be very interested to see it.

Additionally, *apparently* this was part of the National Security Strategy of 2006: "Developing a civilian reserve corps, analogous to the military reserves. The civilian reserve corps would utilize, in a flexible and timely manner, the human resources of the American people for skills and capacities needed for international disaster relief and post-conflict reconstruction.(Page 50)"

Bush apparently asked for a $75 million Conflict Response Fund in June 2006, which included the building of a civilian reserve corps: The Administration urges the House to fund the President's request for a $75 million Conflict Response Fund for reconstruction and stabilization response and for building a civilian reserve corps. The National Security Strategy clearly identifies the importance of addressing state failure and conflict and of building a civilian capacity to respond quickly. A civilian reserve would provide additional non-U.S. Government experts to augment current staff, and the Fund would also ensure that the Secretary of State, in consultation with Congress, could direct assistance quickly in a crisis. Building civilian capacity will reduce strain on military forces. The request complements and does not duplicate current or proposed related activities requested elsewhere in the Budget.(HR 5522)" The bill was passed in the House on 6/9/2006 and on 7/10/2006, it was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders, but I don't see where it was ever passed, so I guess it wasn't. If anyone has any information on this, I'd also appreciate it.

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