Friday, November 18, 2005

NY Times: The Military is Lying about Recruitment.

Lying, no--really? Not our military. Maybe someone else's military.

I know! Syria's military is lying about our recruitment. Lets go get 'em.

Bush isn't lying either. It's some other president that's lying.

Okay, I'll behave.

Both the Army and the Marines, for instance, fell short of their goals for hiring roadside bomb defusers by about 20 percent in each of the last two years. The Army Reserve, meanwhile, failed to fill about a third of its more than 1,500 intelligence analysts jobs. And in the National Guard, there have been consistent shortages filling positions involving tanks, field artillery and intelligence.

The report found that, in all, the military, which is engaged in the most demanding wartime recruitment effort since the 1970's, had failed to fully staff 41 percent of its array of combat and noncombat specialties.

Officials with the accountability office, the independent investigative arm of Congress, found that some of the critical shortfalls had been masked by the overfilling of other positions in an effort to reach overall recruiting goals. As a result, the G.A.O. report questioned whether Congress had been given an accurate picture by the Pentagon of the military's ability to maintain the force it needs for Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The aggregate recruiting numbers are rather meaningless," said Derek B. Stewart, the G.A.O.'s director of military personnel. "For Congress and this nation to truly understand what's happening with the all-volunteer force and its ability to recruit and retain highly qualified people, you have to drill down into occupational specialties. And when you do, it's very revealing."

David S. C. Chu, the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, denied that the military lacked what it needed to complete the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said the report failed to appreciate how the Defense Department handled its recruiting efforts, and had "failed to take into account the dynamic nature of the problem we're trying to solve."

I have to admit that I first learned about this report from THE BURNED OVER DISTRICT, but he had another take on this. Or at least I think he did.

But with me this is personal. Remember all the phony war news we get. All the finds of WMDs some officer was so proud of. Proud and certain that they had made the 'find'.

I remember multiple stories of the human shields from officers in our army and marines, that the embedded reporters "just missed seeing". I finally did read one account of one reporter seeing the human shields that Iraqis were supposedly using. I began to believe after that, until I saw some of the lies that reporters like Judith Miller, and David Blair (UK Telegraph reporter which had Richard Perle on it's board at the time, and the now discredited Conrad Black as it's head.) who claimed to have found evidence linking Respect MP George Galloway with Saddam, a claim that led to a successful libel suit against the newspaper by the MP.

But our military officers far outstrip reporters in their efforts to outdo each other with lies so they can get the next prime promotion. If you want a real good liar look to the Brigadier Generals. They still have a way to go, but the got where they are by being the best--liars.

And 'Undersecretaries' of various departments in the US government are showing the same lying spirit these days.

They are lying about having what they need. They are lying about the volunteer army giving them a high quality recruitment--higher quality than a draft. In fact it looks like the volunteer army approach is running out of steam in the face of their mean spirited tactics on our troops, keeping them away from their families for extended stays, and setting their out dates to 2025.

But, of course they are not lying about not needing a draft.



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