The army

Great article in by Fred Kaplan in Slate, entitled, “How Bush Wrecked the Army.”  Apparently, top generals, active and retired, are concerned that are efforts in Iraq are basically ruining the quality of the U.S. Army.  The choice tidbits:

Meanwhile, to meet enlistment targets, the Army has raised the maximum age of recruits to 41, lowered their required aptitude scores,
and?in another recent gulp?relaxed moral and disciplinary standards.
The Army has always waived these standards to let in a small number of
applicants. But since the Iraq war, this number has risen
substantially. In 2001, just 10.07 percent of Army recruits were given
moral waivers?i.e., were allowed into the Army, even though they had
committed misdemeanors or had once-prohibited problems with drugs and
alcohol, records of serious misconduct, or disqualifying medical
conditions. By 2004, this number had risen to 11.98 percent. But in
2005, it soared to 15.02 percent. And as of April 2006, according to a
fact sheet obtained from an Army officer, the number has leapt to 15.49

Schoomaker's central complaint is that he doesn't have the money to
maintain the Army's global missions. The president and the Congress can
pony up the money (a lot more money) or scale back the
missions. To do otherwise?to stay the course with inadequate
resources?is to invite defeats and disasters.

In case that's not clear enough, “staying the course” without adequate resources is exactly what we are doing. 

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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