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Recruitment Woes

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With the war waging in Iraq, recruitments for the military have fallen sharply. But the blame falls on the media.

Several Senate Republicans denounced other lawmakers and the news media on Thursday for unfavorable depictions of the Iraq war and the Pentagon urged members of Congress to talk up military service to help ease a recruiting shortfall.

Families are discouraging young men and women from enlisting “because of all the negative media that’s out there,” Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, said at a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Inhofe also said that other senators’ criticism of the war contributed to the propaganda of U.S. enemies. He did not name the senators.

Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker urged members of Congress to use “your considerable influence to explain to the American people and to those that are influencers out there how important it is for our young people to serve this nation at a time like this.”

“With the deluge of negative news that we get daily, it’s just amazing to me that anybody would want to sign up,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican.

Source: Reuters

It has less to do with the negative media and more to do with the rising American casualty rate. But Republicans have always played the blame game. (I am surprised that they haven’t blamed Clinton yet.)

It’s not surprising that people will shy away from a war that is based on falsifications. Time to address the issues and reel in the troops.

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  • http://www.dorksandlosers.com Tan The Man

    There are a lot of things that you blame the media on. The entire war and the public perception are greatly affected by the media, but that’s a given. What the government has to do is just do what they planned to do from the beginning (although I’m not sure they knew what they were doing) and not pay attention so much to the media. Hopefully they’ll not get distracted and get the job done.

  • http://cranialcavity.net/wordpress/index.php Marc

    While the media has some effect the root cause is the current job market in the US. With new jobs being created each month there is less incentive to enlist in the military.

    One interesting fact, re-enlistments for those deployed to Iraq have sky-rocketed. They’re on the ground they know the real picture, not the crap that comes from the NYT, WaPo and LAT.

  • SFC Ski

    Not to mention that THe Army beat its quota for June.

  • Joey

    Here’s an interesting statistic… to help put things in perspective.

    As terrible as it is, the death rate in Iraq is being reported as:

    55 per 100K death rate for soldier’s in Iraq

    while at the same time, and not as newsworthy, there this a:

    80.6 per 100K death rate for Washington, D.C.

    On a lighter note…

    there are 25 wolves in Norway, yet 2,000 sheeep are killed annually by wolves in Norway.

    That’s 80 sheep per wolf. Hmmm….

  • http://www.dorksandlosers.com Tan The Man

    I guess you can blame the media on the de-romanticizing of the military. We all hear great stories of WWII battles and stuff, but now all you hear is suicide bombings and crashes. Who wants to die like that?

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    SFC – mr. propaganda (this time at least). Can you not also mention that the Army also dropped that goal by 25 percent?

    If I was to have a goal to do 60 pushups in 4 minutes but dropped that goal to 45 it wold be much easier to reach my goal.

    It’s refreshing for someone NOT to blame “the media.” When someone’s FIRST reaction is to blame “the media” you know they are being willfully ignorant.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Well put, Ski and Marc. Nice to know that not everyone thinks the sky is falling.

    There are many different quotas. It’s broken down by regular military, guard, reserves and further by reenlistments and by branch of service. One branch of service falls a couple of percentage points behind in one category for a month or two and all of a sudden it’s played up as if no one is joining the military. But the fact is that in the months the active duty army fell short, the other branches beat their goals by more than the amount the army fell short by. Or to look at it another way, if you add up all the amounts the army was over its goals in the past year it would erase the shortfall for a short month with ease. The military’s not panicking, so we have to ask who benefits from blowing recruitment shortfalls out of proportion?

    Dave

  • Shark

    DaveNulle: “Well put, Ski and Marc. Nice to know that not everyone thinks the sky is falling…”

    No, that’s been postponed until the day the U.S. military has to deal with REAL problems like North Korea, Iran, or some unimaginable terrorist attack here on U.S. soil.

    =======

    Dear Joey (aka “Google Genius”)

    Your stats about Washington DC. are significant, and only add to my sentiments: since November of 2000, I’ve thought that we should invade D.C., install Democracy, and kill everything that moves.

    PS: I’ll be forwarding your data to parents of dead soldiers, who, btw, many of whom are starting to ask “Why did my son/daughter die?”

    I’m sure it will help.

    Moron.

    ======

    PPS: Next time Bush wants to cry “Wolf!” — um, I mean “go to war” — what do yall think most Americans will do?

    Feh.

  • http://www.bigtimepatriot.com Big Time Patriot

    Nothing would show America the value that our administration and George Bush in particular value this “fight for freedom” more than Jenna and Barbara Bush enlisting in the army.

    Enlistment would definately get some spikes out of that. Because this war IS fully justified and really important, and Republicans are the “values” party, it’s not too much to ask.

  • http://www.bigtimepatriot.com Big Time Patriot

    One interesting fact, re-enlistment BONUSES for those deployed to Iraq have sky-rocketed.

  • Joey

    Moron,
    I guess you’re not the killing machine your moniker implies.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    BTP, if you were in the army would you want Jenna or Barbara in your unit?

    Dave

  • Shark

    “…if you were in the army would you want Jenna or Barbara in your unit?”

    No more than I’d want George “AWOL in Alabama” Bush as my Commander in Chief.

    * or for that matter, Dick “I had other priorities” Cheney.

  • Shark

    Joey to Shark: “I guess you’re not the killing machine your moniker implies.”

    Well, my little Google-eyed chum, come into the water and find out.

    ~mmmmmm, morons: tasty!

  • MCH

    “BTP, if you were in the army, would you want Jenna are Barbara in your unit?”
    – Dave Nalle

    Why not, Nalle? They’d probably make better soldiers than you would’ve…but then again, we’ll never know for sure, since you chose to avoid service when you had the chance and they’ll do the same…

  • Joey

    Pass me the nitrogen stick… and I’ll fill your system with little tiny bubbles of love. Your on!