THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Thursday, May 26, 2005

Why won't they join?


Come join the party

Army's recruitment crisis deepens

May 26, 2005

BY ROBERT NOVAK SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Krohn got himself in trouble with his superiors as a Pentagon civilian public affairs official during the first 3-1/2 years of the Bush administration by telling the truth. He is still at it in private life. He says not to blame the military recruiters for the current recruiting ''scandal.'' Blame the war.

''Army recruiting is in a death spiral, through no fault of the Army,'' Krohn told me. Always defending uniformed personnel, he resents hard-pressed recruiters being attacked for offering unauthorized benefits to make quotas. In a recent e-mail sent to friends (mostly retired military), Krohn complained that the ''Army is having to compensate for a problem of national scope.''

The Army's dilemma is maintaining an all-volunteer service when volunteering means going in harm's way in Iraq. The dilemma extends to national policy. How can the United States maintain its global credibility against the Islamists, if military ranks cannot be filled by volunteers and there is no public will for a draft?

Krohn's e-mail describes the problem: ''Consider the implications of being unable to find sufficient volunteers, as seen by our adversaries. Has the United States lost its will to survive? What's happened to the Great Satan when so few are willing to fight to defend the country? Surely bin Laden et al are making this argument, telling supporters victory is just around the corner if they are a bit more patient. And if they're successful, the energy sources in the Mideast may be within their grasp.''
......................
In contrast, Krohn is a lifelong Republican who actively supported George W. Bush's presidential candidacy in 2000. He specified in his e-mail that ''I'm not now blaming'' President Bush or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for the situation. ''We have a problem that transcends politics,'' Krohn added.
......................
That means the problem goes beyond mechanics of recruiting and the details of volunteer service and is found in the war itself. Paraphrasing Rumsfelds' comment about going into battle with the Army we had, Charles Krohn said: ''The war we have now is not the war we started off with. It's much more serious.''



The root of this is simple: Bush never asked anyone for anything. Now, it's too late. If he had asked for enlistments after 9/11, he would have gotten them. He would have gotten that personal sacrifice. Now, it is far too late. The blame lies directly on Bush and Rumsfeld. They picked this war and they will have to deal with the consequences of it. Which is basically the end of American imperial power.

But the problem is that this isn't defending the country. It's a colonial war. And no one is running to fight that war.

Soldiers in a democracy can only be asked for so much. If this was about Afghanistan, these issues would not exist. No one is going to want their child to die or be crippled by an Iraqi IED.

The Army is running out of time. Months, not years. By next year, this will degrade the Army.

Recruiting abuses come from a reality that Wal Mart is now more appealing than two tours of Iraq. No one blows up an IED in Wal Mart.

Add on to that the problems vets have had upon return, and the Army is simply unappealing. It's even unappealing to Air Force and Navy personnel. The Blue to Green program is a failure, so much so you don't even hear about it.

posted by Steve @ 11:22:00 AM

11:22:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans