Untrained, Ill-Equipped US Troops Off to Fight Ebola

Pentagon: Troops Won't Get Protective Suits

The Pentagon is ratcheting up plans for the long-term deployment of some 4,000 troops into West Africa to fight against the Ebola virus. As more details emerge, the plan appears increasingly haphazard.

Troops preparing for deployment to the Ebola front will be given only a single four-hour training session to transition from their usual soldiering to a campaign against a virus.

Troops are being told that what they’re going to face in Liberia and neighboring nations is “much worse” than Afghanistan, though officials continue to downplay the chances of troops actually contracting Ebola.

The troops are still getting those full body protective suits the trainers are wearing though, right? Not at all, according to the Pentagon they’re going to get just the gloves and in some cases the face mask.

Because of the enormous risk of exposure, they’re being told to avoid shaking hands or touching anyone while they’re overseas, and to only eat and drink things that were provided by the military.

President Obama issued an executive order on Thursday authorizing the deployment on National Guard as well as military forces to Liberia, though the Pentagon says they don’t have any specific plans on sending National Guard forces there at this time.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.