Military recruitment under Joe Biden reaches 'bleakest' levels since post-Vietnam nadir

Under Joe Biden and all the big 'stars' at the Pentagon -- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Gen. Mark Milley -- the U.S. military is falling grossly short of its recruitment goals.

This comes just as China ramps up its military machine, the U.S. deepens its involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and resources, including U.S. troops, are going to be needed.

The Senate, to its credit, has noticed something amiss.

According to the Washington Post:

Lawmakers urged the Pentagon on Wednesday to get aggressive and creative in confronting what they warned were dangerous shortfalls in military recruiting, agreeing broadly that the issue threatens national security even as Republicans and Democrats argued over what’s to blame for the deepening crisis.

The issue came before the Senate Armed Services Committee as U.S. defense officials face the bleakest recruiting environment since the aftermath of the Vietnam War, with less than a quarter of Americans ages 17 to 24 years old eligible to serve — and just 9 percent willing to do so. The situation probably will take years to correct, they told the senators, forecasting that the Army, Air Force and Navy all will fall short of their goals this year, possibly by thousands of recruits.
The Pentagon has attributed its difficulties to a variety of factors, including the nation’s low unemployment rate, school closings during the coronavirus pandemic that limited recruiters’ access to high school students and faculty, and a shifting culture in which more teens gravitate to jobs with work-life balance.
Bleakest recruiting environment since the aftermath of the Vietnam War? That signals a major crisis of confidence.
What a load of mealy-mouthed reasons the Pentagon gave to the House from that passage though, which is just what you'd expect from a Pentagon headed by a woke bloated guy like Milley.
COVID is over -- and the recruitment numbers are still down. Work-life balance is probably a gentle reference to this young man who, rather than provide for his newborn twins in a manly way, longs to "hang out." While he's not entirely at fault here, the sad fact is, he finds purpose in skateboarding because he doesn't find purpose in bigger things -- like defending the country because that's not a value anymore to leaders in the U.S. That's a failure from Washington. Note that recruitment numbers never spiraled for the reasons cited when President Trump was in the White House.
More likely, as this public opinion poll cited by shows, the military has grown political.
GOP congressional members have asked about the Biden administration's inward-turning witch-hunt culture of the military, in search of "extremists," as the Post noted at the the bottom of its piece, and Pentagon officials denied there was any such problem there, having only "found" 100 extremists from among the hundreds of thousands of soldiers and other military members it surveilled. 
That's an important story but not the answer to the question. With news like that, maybe the surveillance was the problem. Who wants to be watched and watched for social media posts that any Twitter goof or wokester college grad with the censorship bug in them finds, all to make that coveted declaration of "extremism" they are looking for? For many potential recruits, it's better to just skip the military rather than walk on eggshells, avoiding that "diversity" censor looking for "a violation." We all know how this goes.
The piece fails to mention critical race theory, too, which teaches the white recruits that they've the bad guys and the country they are expected to fight and die for is fatally flawed, a horrible place that can never make right its past without those helpful CRT officers to browbeat them as the bad guys. Who needs crap like that? Care to fight and die, to give up one's freedoms and live in bad housing, all for a very bad country? That's important, because Gen. Milley himself, in all his white-whale glory, has declared himself a big fan of critical race theory and says he spends untold hours reading up on it himself as well as promoting it within the military as a priority. 
All of the excuses provided by the Pentagon are nonsense, both because politicization is a problem, but perhaps even more important, the U.S. doesn't seem to prioritize winning wars.
The crisis is described as "post-Vietnam"-like in character, so maybe there are important parallels to that conflict.
"Diversity is our strength," crowed leftist Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island in the WaPo piece.
Well, no. Strength is our strength and wokesterism is taking priority over it. The broad picture is ugly, of course: America hasn't won a major war since World War II, and all of our recent wars are seeing hideous results such as China taking over Iraq after decades of U.S. blood and treasure expended, and Afghanistan once again being ruled by the Taliban, the barbarians back in charge again except with billions in U.S.-supplied weapons.
Who wants to fight and die for that kind of outcome, with military members' sacrifices discarded?
One incident that surely must stand out in the minds of potential recruits is how little the leadership in the White House values their sacrifices. Remember how Joe Biden looked at his watch and spent virtually no time talking to the families of slain U.S. service members as the coffins of the 13 service members killed by a terrorist bomb in the chaotic pullout of Afghanistan arrived in Maryland? What does a recruiting sergeant say to potential U.S. recruits about how Joe Biden didn't bother to protect those bright young men and women as they were foisted in harm's way during the self-created chaos? What does he say about the Joe Biden watch matter or the even uglier fact that no Pentagon official was ever punished?
Now we have the war in Ukraine, where untold billions of dollars are being sent and there is talk of U.S. boots on the ground. We all know that the best of Ukraine's army is basically dead, killed off in the fighting, so other troops are going to be needed. Will those be the U.S. troops? If so, U.S. troops will again be put in harm's way, and left high and dry if they get injured, while consultants will get rich off war contracts. As one contributor to American Thinker asked a few months ago: Why does Tunnels to Towers even exist?
Some other things stand out, too -- the persistent bureaucracy of the Pentagon, which gums up the ability to serve of those who want to serve and could serve well, which was noted by Republicans in the hearing, and the wretchedly low pay of military recruits who are often starting young families, and who often are foisted into substandard housing. You'd think they could prioritize that over consultant contracts and wokester indoctrination over in Bidenville, but we all know that Joe's got a watch to look at.
We didn't have factors as bad as these when recruitment hit a nadir in the mid-1970s. Jimmy Carter, at least, never looked at his watch.
What we had then though, is what we have now -- the embarrassing defeat of the U.S. in Vietnam, a victory thrown away as the last helicopter lifted off from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, and the boat people sailed, and the killing fields of Cambodia began. We also had Jimmy Carter at the head of the U.S. military presiding over military failures such as Operation Eagle Claw to rescue 52 U.S. hostages held by the mullah regime in Iran, owing to weak U.S. leadership and under-resourcing of equipment for the dirty, dangerous mission. Those things affect military prestige and they affect recruitment. I recall how military service was looked down upon as a high-schooler in the aftermath of the Vietnam War as a low-prestige option, and how getting recruitment mail was used by others to mock us. Serving in the military was embarrassing in that sorry era. This makes me think the string of defeats seen is actually the biggest reason. Who wants to put their life on the line for an army that exits like the U.S. did in Afghanistan? The Washington Post didn't even bring that up.
Image: PickPik// royalty free
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