Sunday, January 15, 2006

1A, 4F, and Monthly Goals

In comments to the post below, Marty Andrade mentions that the military has met its recruitment goal.

This is an important issue, but not for the way that people use the data. Ask yourself this: would your opinion about the war be different if the Army did or did not meet its recruitment goals in a given month? Of course not. And this is an issue where one can spin it either way. If recruiting is down, the right can blame the left for "talking down" the war. The left can blame it on the right for getting us stuck in a "quagmire." Further complicating things is the fact that we have a popular invasion (Afghanistan) and one that is less popular with a segment of the American public (Iraq). Is the potential recruit turned off by Afghanistan, Iraq, or just that whole march-in-a-straight-line stuff?

That the military is either a little above or a little below the recruiting goal each time it is reported tells us something important. We will not need a draft for the war on terror. If recruiting got so bad that it affected our ability to carry out the mission, we could simply lower the standards toward where they would be if we DID have a draft.

The armed services have requirements of high school completion ranging from 90 to 100% of recruits. In recent memory, the Air Force required 100% high school graduates, for example. During the draft, I am sure that this was not the case. If dropping out of high school were a ticket out of Viet Nam, there would be a lot of dropouts. In reality, college deferments caused the opposite effect in those days. The point is that we would have to lower the standards in order to institute a draft. But lowering the standards without a draft would accomplish the same goal. People who want to join the military, but do not have the academic background to qualify, can fill slots under lowered standards, if need be. I would rather serve with a volunteer dropout than a drafted college graduate. In any event, there is not going to be a draft.


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