Thursday, June 30, 2005

Military Recruiting

The N&O will carry every story, however spun up, of the military missing recruiting targets, but I had to hear from Mike Williams that the Army met its recruiting goals in June, recruiting for the other services appears to be on track and reenlistment in Iraq is off the charts. Mike also makes the relevant point about the correlation between recruiting difficulty and the strong economy.

So the Army met its recruiting goal for June How very sad for the MSM, which so wants to blame the recent falloff in recruiting on the Bush administration and its “mismanagement” of the war on terror. Maybe so, but then again, maybe not. Captain Ed has some other suggestions:

The Army has been the only branch of the service to miss its overall goal, or more accurately find itself in danger of missing its annual goal. The other branches of the service
appear to be meeting their goals, and all branches have met or exceeded their re-enlistment objectives. Re-enlistment appears especially popular among those who serve in Iraq.

Interestingly, Eric Schmitt brings up a diagnosis that has not yet been raised in regards to this issue. The last time the Army faced a recruitment goal failure was six years ago, when the hot economy made it difficult to attract new recruits. So why doesn't that get much mention now? After all, our economy has grown tremendously over the past three years, and now sports an impressive 3.8% growth rate for the first quarter of 2005. In fact, the Federal Reserve
might announce a ninth straight interest-rate hike today to temper the growth.

It doesn't appear that the Army's missed goal is the crisis of confidence that the media has ginned up. Military recruitment gets affected by a number of factors, and deployment is an important but not exclusive issue for potential volunteers. Market competition also plays a role, as the Times reminds us, and right now the market is as tough as it has been since that last recruitment shortfall. Before the Chicken Littles of the media and the Left start screeching about falling skies, perhaps they should take a look at the big picture.