This Washington Post story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/AR2007111600607.html?hpid=sec-politics)should not come as any surprise given the fact that many in the military see a deployment to Iraq as a potential death sentence. Note that the increase over last year is up by 42%. When you add this factor to (a) the high number of younger career officers who are not re-enlisting and (b) the difficulty the military is experiencing in recruiting, it clearly demonstrates that the Chimperator and his delusional policies are doing "one heck of a job" in destroying the U. S. military. Here are some highlights:
WASHINGTON -- Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. While the totals are still far lower than they were during the Vietnam War, when the draft was in effect, they show a steady increase over the past four years and a 42 percent jump since last year.
"We're asking a lot of soldiers these days," said Roy Wallace, director of plans and resources for Army personnel. "They're humans. They have all sorts of issues back home and other places like that. So, I'm sure it has to do with the stress of being a soldier." According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier. Overall, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year.
The increase comes as the Army continues to bear the brunt of the war demands with many soldiers serving repeated, lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military leaders _ including Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey _ have acknowledged that the Army has been stretched nearly to the breaking point by the combat. Efforts are under way to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps to lessen the burden and give troops more time off between deployments.
Despite the continued increase in Army desertions, however, an Associated Press examination of Pentagon figures earlier this year showed that the military does little to find those who bolt, and rarely prosecutes the ones they find. Some are allowed to simply return to their units, while most are given less-than-honorable discharges.