Talk of a Draft amid July 2007 Recruiting Statistics
As expected, the Army and the other services made their recruiting goals in July.
Our Army enlisted 9,972 new soldiers last month, 102% of its goal of 9.750. Those extra 222 soldiers made all the difference.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, expressed concern about ongoing recruiting challenges and significant stresses on our forces to National Public Radio's All Things Considered:
Question: When military leaders, though, talk about the breaking point, what are they talking about? What's the real worry there?
Lute: I think that most who have talked about the stress on the force are concerned that in today's all-volunteer force, especially with the sort of quality individuals that we're interested in attracting to the all-volunteer force, that we're actually competing in the marketplace — in the labor marketplace — for a very narrow slice of high school graduates without records with the law who come to us with a clean bill of health and the potential to serve this country in some very demanding missions.
Lute: So when you're competing in that marketplace, I think the concern is that these people are challenged and feel the respect to the nation and feel a calling to something beyond themselves, beyond just a personal calling, and that these things remain in place and, therefore, make the all-volunteer force viable in the long run.
Question: You know, given the stress on the military and the concern about these extended deployments for an all-volunteer military, can you foresee, in the future, a return to the draft?
Lute: You know, that's a national policy decision point that we have not yet reached, Michele, because the —
Question: But does it make sense militarily?
Lute: I think it makes sense to certainly consider it, and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table, but ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another. Today, the current means of the all-volunteer force is serving us exceptionally well. It would be a major policy shift — not actually a military, but a political policy shift to move to some other course. [ . . . ]
OK, College and Young Republicans and eligible-to-serve war supporters, just try to convince us that everything's perfect with military recruiting. Frankly, we're surprised that our Army exceeded its mid-surge July 2007 recruiting quota by only 222.
It seems we're now in the era of the "Strategic Recruit."