It seems people are avoiding military service in record numbers these days. The Army will miss its fiscal year 2005 recruitment goals by the largest percentage since 1979.
Many in Congress believe the Army needs to get bigger — perhaps by 50,000 soldiers over its current 1 million — in order to meet its many overseas commitments, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army already is on a path to add 30,000 soldiers, but even that will be hard to achieve if recruiters cannot persuade more to join the service. . . .
The Army has not published official figures yet, but it apparently finished the 12-month counting period that ends Friday with about 73,000 recruits. Its goal was 80,000. A gap of 7,000 enlistees would be the largest — in absolute number as well as in percentage terms — since 1979, according to Army records.
The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve, which are smaller than the regular Army, had even worse results.
The active-duty Army had not missed its target since 1999, when it was 6,290 recruits short; in 1998 it fell short by 801, and in 1995 it was off by 33. Prior to that the last shortfall was in 1979 when the Army missed by 17,054 during a period when the Army was much bigger and its recruiting goals were double today’s. — Associated Press
And who’s going to join up, knowing they are probably going to be sent to the war in Iraq? Probably only those who don’t know (or don’t believe despite the evidence) that the Bush lied through his teeth to get the U.S. in there.
That the Army can’t find enough recruits seems to indicate people just might be waking up. And that would be good news indeed.