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Wednesday, July 27

Cannon Fodder Shortage Threatens Our Effort to Do Whatever it is We’re Doing

Driving Over Bombs and Dodging Bullets Not as Alluring as Army Would Hope

From USA Today:

"The Army, which expects to miss its 2005 recruiting goal by about 12,000, already is falling behind for next year".

And

"Next year's recruits may also not be as qualified as this year's, because the Army will be looking for enlistees it can quickly ship to basic training. That means recruits whose options are limited, 'are not in school and not in a job,' said Cheney, chief operating officer of Business Executives for National Security in Washington, D.C.

"The Army is offering unprecedented enticements — including enlistment bonuses as high as $20,000 and service stints as short as 15 months — but so far has been unable to persuade enough young men and women to join.

"Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey recently proposed increasing the top enlistment bonus to $40,000 and is about to add 800 additional recruiters to the force. Even the new recruiters and higher bonuses 'may not be enough for everyone,' Rochelle said.

"None of the recruiting trends bode well for the Army, said Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va.

"If you think of the Army as a watershed, their reservoir is about to run dry," Thompson said. "They have nothing left in reserve."

"Join the Police Force in Iraq and Become 'Cannon Fodder'" Yahoo News (Link)

"A US government report has concluded that likely insurgents have infiltrated Iraq's police service, while other recruits have criminal records or are barely literate.

"In a more controversial opinion, according to Time magazine, the report by the Department of Defense and State Department inspector generals also says that the Pentagon has been using Iraqi police as 'cannon fodder' in Iraq."

And

"The so-called progress report, which is expected to be released in Washington this week, also states that the training of Iraqi police recruits is badly behind schedule.

"It notes that 'too many recruits are marginally literate; some show up for training with criminal records or physical handicaps,' Time said, citing the conclusions of the inspectors general."

And finally this tidbit July 23, 2005 NY Times:

"The Pentagon announced Friday that Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who has been in charge of efforts to train Iraqi security forces, has completed his yearlong tour of duty and will become commander of the Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan."

Is it any wonder that Rumsfeld is making a surprise visit to Iraq today? We’re running out of cannon fodder, the Iraqi cannon fodder isn’t up to snuff, so what happens now? If we don’t come up with more and better cannon fodder do we have to end the war?

I guess it’s "hard work" when you are in the process of running and ruining two countries at the same time. Not to mention this from MSNBC.

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