By Fred Kaplan / Slate
The Army is lowering recruitment standards to levels not seen in at least two decades, and the implications are severe—not only for the future of the Army, but also for the direction of U.S. foreign policy.
The latest statistics—compiled by the Defense Department. and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Boston-based National Priorities Project—are grim. They show that the percentage of new Army recruits with high-school diplomas has plunged from 94 percent in 2003 to 83.5 percent in 2005 to 70.7 percent in 2007. (The Pentagon's longstanding goal is 90 percent.)
The percentage of what the Army calls "high-quality" recruits—those who have high-school diplomas and who score in the upper 50th percentile on the Armed Forces' aptitude tests—has declined from 56.2 percent in 2005 to 44.6 percent in 2007.
The rest after the click ...
So, let me see if I understand the situation. We've "privatized" war by contracting a bunch of it out to private security companies. The
I wonder what it must be like to be one of our troops stationed in Iraq, seeing a well armored SUV load of
I bet they take heart knowing that some of the folks back home are willing to keep supporting them in that strange land for the next 100 years. And maybe when it's all over, there'll be a G.I. Bill to help them get their G.E.D. ... if there's any money left over from paying the security contractors.