One of the costs of the war in Iraq is increased criminal conduct in the recruiting of soldiers as teenagers become more reluctant to join the US military.
The number of alleged and substantiated violations by U.S. military recruiters increased by more than 50 percent in one year, a rise that may reflect growing pressure to meet wartime recruiting goals, according to a Government Accountability Office report released yesterday.
Allegations of wrongdoing by military recruitment personnel rose from 4,400 cases in fiscal 2004 to 6,600 cases in fiscal 2005, with substantiated cases increasing from 400 to almost 630, according to the report. The number of cases found to be criminal violations more than doubled, from 33 to 68.
The number of soldiers recruited fell from 250,000 in fiscal 2004 to 215,000 in fiscal 2005.
The article says the US Army is using bigger incentives this year to meet its recruiting goals. So another cost of the Iraq war is the money paid out to get kids to enlist.
Cases of wrongdoing vary widely, ranging from paperwork errors to serious allegations, such as sexual harassment, falsifying documents and concealing serious medical conditions. In May, for instance, The Oregonian reported that the Army had accepted an autistic recruit and signed him up to become a cavalry scout. The recruit has since been discharged.
There aren't enough troops in the ranks to staff all the brigades and divisions. So Peter is robbed in those areas of the budget as well.
The consequences are clear. The units leave their equipment behind in Iraq for their replacements to use. When they get home they have to turn loose thousands of troops whose enlistments ended months before and who were press-ganged into another combat tour by what is known as "stop-loss," or involuntary service in an all-volunteer military.
Thousands of other troops are "cross-balanced" or transferred into other units headed back to Iraq or Afghanistan, filling up all those vacancies in those outfits.
How do units that leave their equipment in Iraq do training in the United States?
The Office of the Secretary of Defense is considering adding tens of billions of dollars to the Army's base budget in the Pentagon's new six-year spending plan in order to address funding shortfalls that service officials say could threaten the viability of U.S. ground forces, according to Defense Department officials.
Pentagon officials say an Army request for an additional $23 billion to its fiscal year 2008 budget -- and further additions on that order each year through 2013 -- are being seriously weighed in a round of highly unusual midsummer budget negotiations.
The Army has too much to do and not enough money to do it all. If the overall Defense Department budget is not increased then the budgets for the other services will get cut to pay for the Iraq war.
A Pentagon consultant involved in the effort to secure more money for the Army said service officials have argued it cannot execute what it has been asked to do. “The global war on terror, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan -- you cannot execute that, much less the training and readiness of your equipment, there's not enough money to do it all,” said the consultant. “That's the fact.”
A lot of Army equipment is getting worn out in Iraq. The Army will find it increasingly hard to ignore the costs getting created by equipment losses and wear.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 August 17 06:28 PM Mideast Iraq Costs|