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  • Sunday, September 17, 2006


    Moral Failings of Military Recruitment

    A recent story, "The Pentagon's 12-Step Program to Create a Misfit Military," points up the problems with maintaining a military while prosecuting unpopular wars of aggression such as the one in Iraq. Are the low recruitment numbers a result of generally lowering levels of "patriotism," of people unwilling to sacrifice for US democracy? I don't think so.

    I think the problem is a direct result of the misuse of the military by politicians intent on accomplishing non-defensive goals. Politicians dress up the actions in defense-oriented military drag but I sense the ground troops eventually begin to see through this facade. And these troops, when they are released back to the US, undoubtedly tell tales not entirely in keeping with a "guts and glory" image.

    When the military begins calling back up soldiers who have rotated back to civilian life, it is particularly problematic. Of course, soldiers have, for a very long time, had the possibility of being called back by the military if needed even after they've been discharged. But the uncertainty this now raises about what work a discharged soldier does after leaving the military probably doesn't help. Semper Fidelis is difficult to maintain when one partner lies or is inconsistent in how they treat you.

    The problem with lying or dishonest military recruiting tactics is that it probably creates ill-feelings among the very people the military relies on. And that spreads.

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