WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army, hard pressed to attract new soldiers amid the Iraq war, exceeded its July recruiting goal but seems doomed to miss its target for the year, while the Army Reserve and National Guard fell short of their goals again.
The Iraq war marks the first test of the all-volunteer U.S. military during a protracted war, and Army officials have conceded that all three components of the Army likely will miss their recruiting goals for fiscal 2005, which ends Sept. 30.
The Army, aiming to get 80,000 recruits this year, stood 11 percent behind its year-to-date goal at the end of July, with just two months left to overcome a shortfall of more than 7,000. It has not missed an annual recruiting goal since 1999.
The Army provides the bulk of ground troops in the Iraq war, in which about 1,840 U.S. troops have been killed and another nearly 14,000 wounded.
It achieved its second-straight monthly goal — sending 8,085 new soldiers into boot camp in July, topping its goal by 9 percent — after falling short in the previous four months, according to figures released by the Pentagon on Wednesday.
Definitely worrisome. The issue probably isn’t worthy of the ominous headlines its reported under in the media and it will certainly be exaggerated for political purposes, but it is something that needs to be addressed.
I often wonder why global redeployment of our troops, which is under way even as we speak, isn’t talked about more as a resolution to these recruiting shortfalls? The goal of redeployment is to move our troops from areas where they were protecting us from Cold War-era threats to areas where they can protect us from more modern threats. Redeployment will make our military more efficient. Meaning they can do more with less.
Unless I’m missing something here, won’t redeployment ultimately solve, or at least make less pressing, some of these recruitment issues we’re facing?
By Rob Port of Say Anything.