(there are updates at the bottom of the post)
here's the latest news on army recruiting:
" For the first time since January, the Army met its monthly recruiting goal in June, but still faces what some senior Army officials say is a nearly insurmountable shortfall to meet the service's annual quota.ok - so as always its a bit difficult to work through the spin - but does anyone actually believe this nonsense?
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers, told a town-hall meeting at the Pentagon today that the Army had exceeded its June quota, but gave no details. Senior Army officials said in interviews earlier in the day that the Army had exceeded the goal of 5,650 recruits by about 500 people.
Recruiting woes plaguing the Army and the Marine Corps, partly over parental concerns about the war in Iraq, have raised such concerns among members of Congress that the Senate Armed Services Committee has summoned General Myers and the Army and Marine Corps chiefs to testify on Thursday." LINK
unless june is typically 30% worse than May for some seasonal reasons, then they are simply lying through their teeth again. we know from last month that the May target was 8050, and now we are expected to believe that the june target was always 5650? is there a journo on the planet with access to the internet and an abacus?
in fact, when they reduced the May target, they maintained the full year target and were just "re-allocating" the 1350 across the remaining months - June, July, August and Spetember - some of which were presumably stuffed into the June recruiting budget.
similarly, i'd have to think that if they really got 10% more than their budget they'd be shouting from the rooftops that they had turned the corner and that all is well in BushWorld and that we are winning the war and all that. the relative silence is deafening.
the latest reports say that recruiting is "7,800 recruits behind schedule to send 80,000 enlistees to boot camp with only three months to go in the recruiting year". last month we were told they were 8,300 behind schedule. if the 7800 number is correct, then i'm wrong in suggesting that they are diddling the figures again. more likely, it would seem to me, is that lazy journalists simply took the 8300 number and then took Myers' at face value when he said that they beat the June target by 500, and they assumed that means that they are now only 7800 behind. if we assume that the original June target was similar to the original May target, then recruiting is actually 10,200 behind schedule
According to this AP article, "The June target was not lowered, officials said." - what the official probably means is that the June target wasnt lowered since it was invisibly lowered last month.
And according to this AP article, "Pentagon officials attributed the increase in recruits to the end of the school year."
As i said, its difficult to work out the spin - but here's what we know, the May target was 8050, and the June target was apparently 30% lower at 5650, *despite* the end of the school year.
It'll be interesting to see what lies they tell i n front of SACS on Thursday, and whether they can keep a straight face.
ten bucks says someone is lying.
update: thanks to a commentator for pointing out this graf from the nyt. pure fiction. apparently nobody signs up in december, and they give the 'revised' May target number, and they seem to be saying that they planned all along for June to be the worst month in the year (excl Dec, which is presumably a spreadsheet error), despite the school-leaver phenomenon
oh yeah, one other thing, they arent releasing the official numbers till july 11. if im not mistaken, the numbers have usually been available at the end of the month, except for the May numbers which they delayed for a couple of weeks till they worked out how to spin them. is that now a precedent ? and if so, why?
update: from usatoday
" The June 2005 goal was more than 1,000 recruits lower than the June 2004 goal." this proves my point that there has been some number-diddling. the annual goal this year is a few percent higher than last year, yet we are expected to believe that the june target was somehow, magically, 20% lower than last year. unadulterated nonsense.
if the reduction in the target was legitimate, the DOD perception management gurus would have pre-announced the change, and explained it in advance. come to think of it, we know that the DOD actuallly does have brilliant perception management (zarqawi, anyone?) - ill happily bet another ten bux that when the official numbers are released in a couple of weeks, they are worse than the 6150 number they are currently touting - 'minor adjustments' and all - maybe they'll release the official numbers late on a friday... in the meantime, the AP headline writers will be screaming about how they beat expectations, and the bend-over journos in the rest of the media will repeat the nonsense. it'd be funny, except...
check back here, then, and ill have the gory details. i can almost promise.
they lie. people die. bastards.
update: a commentor asked "WTF is a "town-hall meeting at the Pentagon?" - its the first one theyve ever had... General Quag Myers must think he has a "PR problem".
update - since atrios mentioned Operation Yellow Elephant, you might remember that everyone was recently pointing to a Knight Ridder article about the College Repuglican conference from september last year quoting some of the junior chickenhawks - eg: "Vivian Lee says "Frankly, I want to be a politician. I'd like to survive to see that."
i wrote this post a few days ago noting that the KR article, which had been alive for 9 months, suddenly went silent with a "The requested article was not found." Such is the power of College Repugs. the future looks grim. (and KR was supposed to be the best of a bad bunch)
update: kos noticed the same thing. one of the commentors had this to say: "I'm a librarian and I pride myself on the ability to find information and I have not been able to find any numbers by month for previous years. I also haven't been able to find this year's monthly goals."
i spent much of yesterday looking for these figures and found *nothing* - i thought i was going crazy.
brad delong is also on the story - he linked to me. thanks brad.
needlenose also pointed to me. thnx.
btw - does the Recruiting Office have the MinuteMan mailing list? surely they are all patriots...
actually, ive just noticed this quaint phrasing from Eric Schmitt's june8 NYT article: "Two recruiters in the New York area... said their mission for June had not been changed, nor had the goals for July, August and September." read that again. the june *mission* hadnt changed, *and* the july/sug/sep quotas hadnt changed. So when he wrote yesterdays article, he *knew* that the goalposts had moved.
i have an update in a new post, here