The Talking Dog

November 17, 2007, These Army Boots Are Made for Walkin'...

Almost certainly thanks to the

the Army reports that desertions since 2003 are up around 80%. This comes at the same time that the Army's usual 18% or so rate of early discharge, primarily for physical inability (and including other things, such as reporting oneself as gay) dropped to around 7%, as major military action (in the form of occupations) in Iraq and Afghanistan roll on. One would think that this would mean that the Army should be more exacting in its physical standards, rather than less. So... something has to give, and many soldiers have decided to vote with their feet; the range is around 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers a year deserting (close to 3,000 last year... close to 5000 this year.)

The Army brass is... concerned. Chances are, the Army, and for that matter, the rest of our republic, will survive the next 430 days until the next President is sworn in. But it's not all that clear that that's how you bet.