Thursday, June 09, 2005

The March of Folly

The chief attraction of military service has consisted and will consist in this compulsory and irreproachable idleness.
Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910), writer

Now here is a shocker: the military (the Army specifically) is expected to fall short of its recruiting goals. Maybe it is attributable:
(a) more police work than military operations,
(b) military vehicles not properly equipped with armor,
(c) faulty bulletproof vests, and
(d) extended duty in a war that the United States was an unnecessary aggressor.

Here is a quote that will have to go down as classic corporate doublespeak: The Army said it lowered the May target to "adjust for changing market conditions." War would certainly fall into the category of changing market conditions.

If we do not fall into a depression of sorts with lack of job opportunities forcing young people into service, I expect the military to reinstate a draft in the next decade, otherwise we could see the 1960s’ slogan come back in vogue – “what if we gave a war and no one showed up?”

2 comments:

On The Mark said...

4 months in a row they've missed their recruiting numbers. There was an article recently (don't remember where) about kids in small town Iowa signing up for the military because they had no other options available. Maybe that's part of the Bush economic plan to ensure better recruitment.

Anonymous said...

In The March of Folly the late Barbara Tuchman (one of America's foremost historians) examines an interesting facet of history, namely the tendency of governments to act stubbornly and perversely against their own best interests (this tendency is the "folly" referred to by the title).
For Tuchman, a particular course of action must meet three criteria to be considered folly; first, it must have been seen as such by contemporaries