Thursday, May 12, 2005

No News is Good News

Multiple news sources reported today that the Army will order a recruiting "stand down" on May 20. The stand down comes in response to complaints about over-aggressive tactics used by Army recruiters. Having missed its recruiting targets since February of this year, the Army wants its recruiters to reverse the trend. "Nobody will deny it's a high pressure job," said Army spokesman Colonel Joseph Curtin.

According to Mark Mazzetti of the LOS ANGELES TIMES, "The Army has added hundreds of recruiters and spent millions of dollars on new advertising campaigns to counter the 'Iraq effect'--the violent news out of Iraq turning off potential recruits from joining the military."

In related news, John F. Burns of the NEW YORK TIMES reports that insurgent attacks on Wednesday in northern and central Iraq killed 79 and wounded at least 120 more.

Also on Wednesday, according to NYT's Carlotta Gall, four protesters were killed and more than 60 were injured during anti-American demonstrations in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

Elsewhere in the media:

The organization Human Rights Watch asserts that as many as 200 people have been rendered to Egypt since 9-11. (David Johnston, NYT. An important aside: rendition, as a counter-terrorism practice, began in the mid 1990s.)

It seems our intelligence agencies disagree on just what North Korea is up to. From NYT's David E. Sanger: "...ambiguity pervades what various intelligence officials have been saying in recent days as they describe their views on broad questions like the intentions and capabilities of Kim Jong Il, North Korea's leader, and narrower questions like whether, in fact, the North Koreans have built a reviewing stand so that their leaders can feel the ground shake if a test happens."

John Bolton, scheduled for a nomination vote today, has told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that a policy maker should maintain the right to "state his own reading of the intelligence" even when it differs from that of intelligence agencies. (Douglas Jehl, NYT.)

Back to the recruiting issue: the Army has announced a new ad campaign aimed at parents who may be advising their children not to join the military.

Now what would cause a parent to do a thing like that?


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