The recession is bad for you and I, but it’s great for the U.S. military. The Pentagon reports that it’s been meeting its recruitment goals. Post-9/11 patriotic fervor has dissipated and the prospect of long, grueling counterinsurgency duty usually isn’t the sharpest tool in the recruiting sergeant’s arsenal. But a tour in Iraq that comes with guaranteed food and health care looks better than 26 weeks of unemployment benefits at $300 a week.
Still, I never trust recruiting figures. It’s too easy for the military to fiddle with them. It’s much easier for the Army to snag recruits when it lowers enlistment standards to allow petty criminals and drug dealers.