The Army is still working out how the Friday Game works. The first rule of the Friday Game is “don’t leak the news before Friday”:
Earlier this year, without any public notice, the Army reduced its recruiting goal for from 8,050 new recruits to 6,700, the New York Times reports . But as it turns out, the Army couldn’t even reach the reduced goal: The Army will admit later this week that it lured in only 5,000 new soldiers in — just 75 percent of its new goal and only 62 percent of its previous goal. As the Times notes, it’s that the Army has failed to meet its recruiting goals.
…the Pentagon has added 1,000 new recruiters , started a new ad campaign, offered starting bonuses of up to $2,000 and begun sending sending Iraq and Afghanistan vets out on rounds with recruiters. The payoff for all of those efforts: By , the Army was “about 8,300 soldiers behind its projected year-to-date number of enlistees sent to basic training by now,” the Times says.
(Not to mention that the Army has lowered standards for recruits and held on to troops it would have discharged early in fatter times “because of alcohol or drug abuse, unsatisfactory performance, or being overweight, among other reasons.”)
Fickle America’s support for the war has crashed. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released today has 73% saying that there has been an “unacceptable number of U.S. military casualties in Iraq,” 65% saying “the United States has gotten bogged down in Iraq,” and 58% saying that the war with Iraq was “not worth fighting.” And then there’s this poll:
A Department of Defense survey , the latest, shows that only 25 percent of parents would recommend military service to their children, down from 42 percent in . ¶ “Parents,” said one recruiter in Ohio who insisted on anonymity because the Army ordered all recruiters not to talk to reporters, “are the biggest hurdle we face.”