Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Draft Watch: Army misses April recruiting goal by 42 percent

The pressure continues to mount on our armed forces as the Army misses April recruiting goal by 42 percent.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army missed its April recruiting goal by a whopping 42 percent and the Army Reserve fell short by 37 percent, officials said on Tuesday, showing the depth of the military's wartime recruiting woes.

With the Iraq war straining the U.S. military, the active-duty Army has now missed its recruiting goals in three straight months, with April being by far the worst of the three, and officials are forecasting that it will fall short again in May.
I'd say that that's a pretty reliable forecast. Hopefully we should learn a lesson from this war- that you can't successfully fight a long-term war without the full backing of the public, especially when you rely upon an all volunteer armed forces. If only there was a recent conflict in American history that could have taught us this. But unfortunately all of the wars we've fought in the past 40 years have been hugely popular and/or really short, so there was no historical case for the administration to look to. Oh, accept for that one war, you know the one that ripped American society apart, soiled our reputation in the world, and left our military in disrepair for years.

It should come as no surprise that Army's recruiters have to bend or break the rules as pressure mounts to meet the quotas.
It was late September when the 21-year-old man, fresh from a three-week commitment in a psychiatric ward, showed up at an Army recruiting station in southern Ohio. The two recruiters there wasted no time signing him up, and even after the man’s parents told them he had bipolar disorder – a diagnosis that would disqualify him – he was all set to be shipped to boot camp, and perhaps Iraq after that, before senior officers found out and canceled the enlistment.

Despite an Army investigation, the recruiters were not punished and were still working in the area late last month.

Two hundred miles away, in northern Ohio, another recruiter said the incident hardly surprised him. He has been bending or breaking enlistment rules for months, he said, hiding police records and medical histories of potential recruits. His commanders have encouraged such deception, he said, because they know there is no other way to meet the Army’s stiff recruitment quotas.

“The problem is that no one wants to join,” the recruiter said. “We have to play fast and loose with the rules just to get by.”
Damned freedom hating kids! Why won't they sign up to go fight in a war of choice against a nation that didn't attack us? Why can't they follow in the footsteps of the Bush Administration, all of whom sacrificed so much and served so patriotically in the Vietnam War when they were young?