The United States military is pouring millions into the effort of recruiting men and women to serve their nation, but demographics suggest this is occurring at a time when there are fewer eligible recruits, fewer parents supportive of their children entering the armed forces and a lower desire to serve. The Congressional Research Service expressed the view: “There may well be a point of diminishing returns in the current environment” in terms of spending on bonuses, advertising and recruitment. Lawrence Kapp stated this analysis at a recent talk given at the Heritage Foundation.
The Pentagon issued a vigorous denial of Kapp’s claim insisting “the bonuses have been very effective.” However, of the 31.2 million people inthe 2007 pool of potential recruits in the age bracket of 17-24, only 4.7 milliion were even considered fit for miltiary service, The seven year wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have negatively impacted milions of young Americans. Kapp did offer a bit of good news regarding his gloomy predictions about recruits.”The reality of what we’re doing overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan…might be kind of weeding out those who are risk-averse. Everyone in the military today…(is) fully aware of the risks that they’re facing and encountering, and they’re going ahead and joining or re-upping.”
There are fewer and fewer fathers who have served in the military and parents are concerned about the ongoing fiasco of Iraq and Afghanistan. These are not popular wars as far as most Americans regard the fighting and dying. Loss of faith in George Bush has translated to loss of interest in having one’s child fight in the army.