Friday, December 17, 2004

That's Not a Draft Coming. Definitely Not a Draft

Buried deep in an article in this a.m.'s NYTimes: "...chief of the Army Reserve, Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, told The Dallas Morning News that the Army Reserve recruiting was in a 'precipitous decline' that if unchecked could inspire renewed debate over the draft. General Helmly told the newspaper that he personally opposed reviving the draft."

This, in an article headlined "Guard Reports Serious Drop in Enlistment." The Army National Guard announced yesterday that it had fallen 30 percent below its recruiting goals in the last two months and would offer "new incentives," including enlistment bonuses of up to $15,000. (You'll be spending that bonus on body armor for yourself and extra steel plating for your Humvee, but still.)

"Some military personnel specialists ... said the lower recruiting numbers were the harbingers of tougher times to come. 'I don't think this is an aberration,' said David R. Segal, a military sociologist who directs the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland. 'I think we're going to see significant shortfalls in recruitment, and I think we're to begin to see retention problems. We're also going to see increasing concerns at the state level about how the Guard will man itself and perform its state missions.' "

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