Thursday, March 08, 2007

Combat, Hostile Fire, and Kosovo

The breathless Star Tribune headline tells us that the military "may cut" the pay of troops in Kosovo. If you read this in combination with the story, you will find that there are specific criteria for hostile fire and imminent danger (combat) pay. It is not as though people in the Pentagon were sitting around and someone said, "I've got an idea. Let's pay our military less money."

When I was stationed in the Balkans in 1998, there was a distinction between hostile fire pay and imminent danger pay. It was something like $100 per month for the former and an additional $100 per month for the latter. Now, it seems as though both hostile fire and imminent danger pay qualify for $225 per month. One solution to the controversy would be to once again separate the two dollar amounts to recognize the difference between, say, Iraq and Kosovo.

Of course, there might be a story here about military success in the former Yugoslavia and how it is possible to keep ethnic and religious divisions from erupting into civil war. Nah!

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