The American people reject endless war, even though political leaders on both sides of the aisle love continuous warfare.
To clarify, the United States Army is having a hard time finding cannon fodder for the Washington elites never-ending wars. In fact, the U.S. Army had to reduce its 2018 recruiting goals twice to proclaim its recruiting objectives “successful.”
The Army initially planned to recruit 80,000 young Americans in 2018; but only 70,000 recruits signed up, The Federal News Network reports. Thus, the Army missed its 2018 recruiting goal by 10,000. However, the Army tried to spin the failure by reducing the recruiting goal to 76,400 but missed that mark too.
US Army Recruiting Fails
The number of Army recruits fell by 2,000 in Fiscal Year 2019, the Army itself admits. To explain, the Army only recruited 68,000 would-be soldiers in Fiscal Year 2019.
However, the Army achieved its “2019 recruiting goals” by lowering the recruiting target number. To clarify, the Army’s 2019 Fiscal Year ran from September 2018 to September 2019. Not even marketing strategies such as “virtual recruiting stations” on Social Media and an Army Esports Team could entice young Americans to sign up.
Consequently, the Army is failing to achieve its goal of having 500,000 soldiers in uniform by 2024. In fact, the Army hoped to have 487,500 soldiers by the end of 2019, The Army Times reports. Instead, the Army only had 478,000 people on active duty at the end of 2019.
As a result, the Generals could cut the Army’s goal of growing by 4,000 people a year in half, The Army Times speculates. Instead, the Army will try to expand its force by 2,000 troops a years.
Young Americans do not Want to Join the Army
Media reports blame the “good economy” and 3.2% unemployment for the Army’s recruiting woes. However, I think the endless war is keeping many Americans from enlisting.
To clarify, most of the “good jobs” the booming economy offers young people involve burger flipping; or operating a cash register, for minimum wage. Given those alternatives, Army recruiters should have an easy job. However, the political climate makes it difficult to get Americans to enlist.
Young Americans who despise President Donald J. Trump (R-Florida); in particular, could be unwilling to die for him. In addition, young Americans of color could have no desire to serve under a racist commander-in-chief.
The Army’s Marketing Efforts to younger People Fail
No amount of e-sports and virtual recruiting will overcome popular attitudes about the Donald. Nor will the $1 billion the Army spends on recruiting; and the recent move of the Army’s marketing efforts to Chicago, help fill the ranks.
To clarify, the Army closed its recruiting marketing operations in Arlington, Virginia, in June 2019. Instead, the Army gave DDB Chicago; a full service advertising agency in the Windy City, a $4 billion contract to handle all its marketing efforts, The Army Times reports.
I cannot imagine the Army making such dramatic changes to its recruiting efforts if they were working. My suspicion is that the Army’s marketing efforts failed, so the Pentagon is seeking outside help.
How Endless War Hurts Army Recruiting
Moreover, young Americans do not want to die in a pointless war.
Remember, these young people grew up with President George W. Bush (R-Texas) and his lies about weapons of mass destruction. Some of them saw their fathers, uncles, or older brothers, win a “victory” in Iraq, yet see that war still being fought. In addition, many of those young people see veterans living in cars and struggling with PTSD.
Under those circumstances, I think Army recruiting without huge cash bonuses will be impossible. To explain, today’s potential Army recruit; unlike that of 2001, understands that the endless war is pointless, and un-winnable.
Sensibly those young Americans want nothing to do with the war. Flipping burgers looks good when compared to being blown up by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq, and coming home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
To meet future recruiting goals the Army will either have to lower its standards for recruits or offer big money to recruits. Unless, sanity breaks out in Washington D.C.; and the endless war ends, America will need to change its recruiting methods.
Where will the Soldiers Come From?
One obvious means of filling the Army ranks is to recruit out of prisons or juvenile halls. Offer young nonviolent felons a full pardon in exchange for six years of Army service, for instance.
Other recruiting strategies the Army could utilize are recruiting high-school dropouts, people over 35, and illegal immigrants. An obvious way to recruit immigrants is to offer citizenship after six years of military service. Whether the Army’s command; or the American people, could accept an army of ex-convicts and illegal immigrants is debatable.
On the other hand, the Romans accepted an army of barbarians during the Later Empire in exchange for avoiding service in the Legions. Thus, modern Americans could accept recruiting irregularities to avoid a draft.
I think recruiting irregularities are probable because conscription is politically impossible in modern America. Therefore, the Army could quietly change its standards to fill the ranks and avoid political controversy.
Will Robots fight the Next War?
A probability in today’s world is that the American soldier of the future will be a robot.
The military could compensate for the lack of manpower by using drones and robots to fight the next war. In the air, the Drone War has already begun with drones carrying out many of the missions against enemies such as ISIS.
In the future, robot tanks and walking robots could replace soldiers on the ground. In fact, the Russians have been testing robot tanks for some time, and Boston Dynamics is trying to develop a walking robot storm trooper for future wars.
Only history will tell, if people accept robot warfare. However, I think most people will accept robot warfare if politicians say, “the choice is send the robots or bring back the draft.” My suspicion is that moral qualms about “killer robots” will vanish the minute some general says “the only alternative is conscripting your kids.”
Average Americans Reject Endless War
In the final analysis, I think the recruiting numbers prove average Americans are rejecting endless war.
Young Americans are voting against Endless War with their feet by walking away from the recruiting office. Hopefully, those young Americans will continue this trend at the ballot box.
I think the only thing that will end America’s endless wars is the electoral defeat of warmongering politicians. For example, if Trump thought sending troops to the Middle East threatened his reelection. All of our troops would come home and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) would on his way to Tehran to negotiate a peace treaty.
America’s Endless War will continue as long as we reelect warmongering politicians.
Originally published at https://marketmadhouse.com on January 11, 2020.