Retention Among the Ranks

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Facing a nation growing weary of war, last night President Bush made his case for staying the course in Iraq. Drawing repeatedly on the memories of September 11th, the President called on the country not to “yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden.”

While his goal was to buoy support among the general public, he chose to deliver his speech in front of 750 soldiers at Fort Bragg. This solemn backdrop may have been a public relations move, but it also reveals how important the support of men and women in uniform is to continuing the American effort in Iraq.

With the military facing recruitment shortfalls and growing numbers of junior officers opting out, some wonder how long America’s all-volunteer force will keep faith with this war.


Lucian Truscott, former West Point grad and author of a June 28th New York Times op-ed on problems with military retention

Andrew Bacevich, professor of International Relations at Boston University and author of “The New American Militarism.”