I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Truth in Recruiting

Herbert: "So here's a question: Should people who are being recruited into the armed forces be told the truth about the risks they are likely to face if they agree to sign up and put on a uniform?"

"Right now, that is not happening. Recruiters desperate for warm bodies to be shipped to Iraq are prowling selected high schools and neighborhoods across the country with sales pitches that touch on everything but the possibility of being maimed or killed in combat."

"The recruiters themselves are under enormous pressure from higher-ups who are watching crucial components of the all-volunteer military buckle under the strain of a war that was supposed to have been won in a jiffy, but instead just goes on and on."

"But war is not a game. Getting your face blown off is not fun. The fundamental task of the military is to fight and kill the enemies of the United States, and fighting and killing is a grotesquely brutal experience. Potential recruits should be told the truth about what is expected of them, and what the risks are. And they should be told why it's a good idea for them to take those risks. If that results in too few people signing up for the military, the country is left with a couple of other options:

Stop fighting unnecessary wars, or reinstate the draft." [NYT]

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