NOT A MOTHER JOKEBrandon Friedman (who I make a habit of reading on a regular basis) discusses the recent emergence of some less than ethical means that the US Army is using to bolster its sagging numbers. The latest measures involve using thinly veiled threats and intimidation to coerce inactive soldiers to reenlist (Along the lines of: “If you don’t reenlist now with me, you could be more likely to get deployed in a combat situation…”). There is no merit to the assertions and insinuations, of course.

Keep in mind, Army recruiters are turning to these dubious methods after test standards have been lowered to dangerous levels, moral waivers have been issued with greater leniency, past misconduct has been increasingly overlooked, injuries/physical limitations discounted, bonuses raised and a host of other measures have been adopted to counter the effects of the Iraq war on enlistment/retention.

Remarkably, many war supporters elide the enormous strains on our military – to near breaking points for certain segments (Reserves, National Guard) – when discussing the “pros” of maintaining a rather large troop presence in Iraq for the next decade to 100 years. It is as if they view Iraq through a cost/benefit prism where the concrete and knowable costs (crippling at that) can be treated as non-existent in the pursuit of hoped for benefits that are, at best, highly improbable, and in an effort to stave off negative outcomes that are speculative.

Captain Brandon Friedman recently became personally acquainted with this new recruitment/retention method. Actually, it wasn’t Friedman himself that was on the receiving end of these strong-arm tactics, but his mom. Amazing. We can do better.

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