Thursday, June 02, 2005


Is it getting drafty around here?

From Reuters, Pentagon delays release of May recruiting data:
Wed Jun 1 -- The Pentagon on Wednesday postponed by more than a week the release of military recruiting figures for May, as the Army and Marine Corps struggle to attract new troops amid the Iraq war.

The military services had routinely provided most recruiting statistics for a given month on the first business day of the next month.

"Military recruiting is instrumental to our readiness and merits the earliest release of data. But at the same time, this information must be reasonably scrutinized and explained to the public, which deserves the fullest insight into military performance in this important area," Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said.
i.e., "We need time to cook the numbers and develop a way to spin the bad news".
The regular Army missed its recruiting goals for three straight months entering May, falling short by a whopping 42 percent in April. The Army was 16 percent behind its year-to-date target entering May, with a goal of signing up 80,000 recruits in fiscal 2005, which ends Sept. 30.
I want to stop by a local recuiting office and pick up a box of their business cards. Then as I travel about town, I want to stick them under all the yellow magnetic stickers on cars.

Remember when people were willing to at least stick a real sticker on their car? One that would be on for good. I guess they thought this "situation" in Iraq would be a temporary; no need to commit my car's paint job, let alone my civilian status.

Meanwhile, back at the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Rangel had this to say:
May 26, 2005 -- Congressman Charles Rangel today announced the reintroduction of his legislation to reinstate the military draft.

"I oppose the war in Iraq, but I support the military and the men and women who serve in it," Congressman Rangel said. "What is happening now indicates to me that the entire volunteer system is in danger of collapse under the weight of the burden being placed on those who are serving."

According to the WashPost, people in the DC area are getting nervous, After 30 Years, Draft Fears Rise:
Rarely in the more than 30 years since the draft was abolished has the Selective Service triggered such angst. Two years into the Iraq war, concern that the draft will be reinstated to supplement an overextended military persists -- no matter how often, or emphatically, President Bush and members of Congress say it won't...

On a recent Friday night, McNeil, executive director of the Center on Conscience and War, brought her presentation on how to win conscientious objector status to the Sandy Spring Friends Community House. She told the audience of about 25 that there is a "perfect storm" of conditions that could lead to conscription: low recruiting numbers and the strain that Iraq has placed on the all-volunteer military, especially the National Guard and reserves...

She also warned the group that the Selective Service shares names and addresses with military recruiters...

But if there were to be one, it could be of specific skilled professionals rather than general conscription, Flahavan, associate director of Selective Service for public and intergovernmental affairs said.

The "special skills" draft could give the government the option of calling up people in a variety of specialties, such as linguists, computer experts, police officers or firefighters, Flahavan said.

Other government agencies besides the Department of Defense could draft those workers, the report states. They could include U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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