Friday, July 15, 2005

Thanks a lot, everyone . . .

Spotty (I am going back to the 'merican spelling even though this blog is named after an English engine of correction) arrived late at the kill site of Kersten's latest column and there wasn't much left. All the bloggers had gone; even the buzzards were packing up to leave.

Spotty chewed on a bone in contemplation for a while; a couple of things did occur to him. In her column, on recent high school graduate army recruits, which ran on July 14th, Kersten trumpets the fact that the armed services met their recuiting goals for June, after missing them for several months before that. Okay people, connect the spots. What happens in May and June? Think hard now; it will come to you.

How many people said planting gardens and flowers blooming? Wrong. How many people said high school graduation? That's the right answer. June is probably the one month of the year when the most new recruit material comes on the market. It will be interesting to see what happens the rest of this year.

Spotty thinks the Pentagon has already figured out it is going to be way short in 2006 and beyond. That is why it is preparing for a large troop draw down, in coordination with the British, in Iraq starting next year. Spotty thinks that is a good thing, but it is not being driven by the readiness of the Iraqi armed forces to take over, but rather by US manpower shortages. Guard units are basically used up, and recruiting is down. This is an important symptom of the American people's loss of faith in the misbegotten enterprise known at the Iraq war.

Spotty is not gloating over these manpower shortages. They will result in even more hardship for the soldiers and families left in the military. And we will have to redouble our efforts to let these people know they are in our thoughts and prayers and to help their families out stateside while they are away.

The other thing that Spotty thought of was to be sure to tell Kersten about Operation Yellow Elephant in case she had any 18+ year old children who should be enlisting.

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