The army said that it was going to stop doing this but now that is not the case. According to a story in USA Today:
The number of soldiers affected by stop loss peaked in 2005 at 15,758. Gates ordered stop loss to be minimized in January 2007. It fell to 8,540 in May 2007 but rose to about 12,000 in March and has stayed near that level. The troop buildup in Iraq and extension of Army tours from 12 to 15 months last year resulted in more stop-loss orders.
This is wrong on so many levels I don't know where to start. It seems to me a simply question of fairness. The soldier has fulfilled his term of the enlist; the government should honor its side of the bargain as well. The strain this puts on troops must be incredible. I also can't see how this helps in retaining soldiers either.
The article continues:
If demand for U.S. combat troops stays constant through 2009, Moose said, the number of soldiers affected by stop loss will remain at about 12,000. "Stop loss is a function of how many units are preparing to deploy," he said. "We only use stop loss when we have to."
I really don't think the question is if. If not in Iraq then they will be needed in Afghanistan.
This is another legacy left to the country by the Bush administration. They simply did not plan the war well enough. The people who are suffering for it are our troops. And that is just wrong.