ACTION ALERT: As Recruitment Falters US Eyes Teenage Troops

July 23rd, 2019 - by Buzz Davis / Veterans For Peace & Ben Wolfgang / The Washington Times

ACTION ALERT: Military Recruiting Woes Spur Debate over Enlistment Age

Buzz Davis / Veterans For Peace

TUCSON (July 21, 2019) — The warmongers are at work enticing YOUR children and grandchildren.

FACT:  During their time in the military 30% of the women will fight off a sexual assault or be assaulted (raped).  And if it happens once, the rapes may continue.  Men are also assaulted but at a lower percentage rate.

Why in hell would people be saying we should lower the age of recruitment for such an organization as the US military?  Are they being paid by the DOD’s multi-billion-dollar per year recruitment business?  Are they real right wing warmongers?  Or, are they just plain dumb?

Immediately below is the resolution delegates will vote on at the Veterans for Peace National Convention in August.

I hope other organizations will join our call for Congress to pass a moratorium on high school recruitment until the military proves that women who join the military DO NOT get sexually assaulted by fellow soldiers.

FACT:  Those persons, who are veterans of all the illegal wars since war criminal Bush started the unending wars in 2001, are the most damaged veterans America has ever seen. Why?  Because the battlefield medical care and the tools medics have improved so much since Vietnam that the death rate has dropped and the survival rate for those injured has skyrocketed. 

Result: Men and women losing multiple limbs now survive rather than bleed to death.  The body armor and helmets now enable soldiers to live thru powerful bombings.

Result:  The military has more TBI (traumatic brain injury) than ever before because after the bombings the soldiers are alive with rattled brains rather than dead from fragments or heads being crushed.

Hopefully the delegates will pass the resolution and members will lobby for such a law to be passed.


Whereas, with 2 million women who are veterans or active duty with hundreds of thousands of these women sexually assaulted;  

Whereas the DOD study, Factors Associated with Women’s Risk of Rape in the Military Environment, American Journal of Industrial Medicine (2003) found for women who served in Vietnam, post-Vietnam and Persian Gulf War eras that 30% experienced an attempted or completed rape during service, 37% who stated they were raped stated they were raped more than once, 14% who reported they were raped reported being gang raped and 75% of raped women decided NOT to report the attacks to authorities;

Whereas the 2018 report states sexual violence remains pervasive, 81% of victims (2016) DIDN’T report the crime, retaliation is the norm, prosecution (FY2017) and conviction rates fell dramatically from prior years, there’s a high demand for VA care (1,307,781 VA outpatient visits (2015)) for military sexual trauma (MST) care with 38% of female and 4% of male experiencing MST; 

Whereas it’s a moral crime to permit military recruitment in high schools with DOD’s dangerous record in preventing/prosecuting sexual assault; 

Therefore Be It Resolved VFP urges Congress transfer reporting, investigation and prosecution for sexual assault from the military to civilian police and overseas to special military justice units with full prosecution authority, staffing and shielding from retaliation;

Be It Further Finally Resolved Congress pass a moratorium on military recruitment/visits/programs in high schools until DOD provides verification that having a child in the military provides minimal risk of sexual assault;

Be It Finally Resolved Congress change federal law to require parents of high schoolers annually, in writing, to op students into military recruitment rather than presently requiring parents to op student out of military recruitment.

Military Eyes 16-year-olds as Ranks and Candidates Dwindle

Ben Wolfgang / The Washington Times

WASHINGTON (July 18, 2019) — The best way to fix the US armed forces’ recruiting challenges may involve dipping further into the nation’s high schools.

As the Army, Navy and other services contend with a thriving economy and a directive to expand their ranks, there is a growing debate over whether the military should consider lowering the minimum enlistment age from 17 to 16. More than a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, already have adopted the policy.

Critics say the idea is deeply flawed and presents a host of societal problems, but supporters argue that the Pentagon needs to think outside the box if it wants to continually overcome one of the toughest recruiting environments in decades. 

Neither the military nor lawmakers have given any indication that they are entertaining the idea, but some analysts say that opening the ranks to younger Americans could provide unique benefits and may be the kind of fundamental overhaul the recruiting system needs for the 21st century.

“For one, many of the factors that disqualify older youths from joining — like criminal records — are not as present in younger teens,” said Shane McCarthy, chief marketing officer of Sandboxx, a leading technology platform that connects military members stationed abroad with families and friends at home. Mr. McCarthy also has advised military commands on how to better target recruits.

“Currently, of the 75% of 17- to 24-year-olds who are ineligible to serve, for example, 10% are ineligible due to criminal records,” he wrote in a recent piece for the Military Times. “And, according to the Department of Justice, there are twice as many arrests of 18- to 20-year-olds as there are arrests of 15- to 17-year-olds.”

Mr. McCarthy’s argument touched off a firestorm, with skeptics saying the move could create more problems than it would solve. Peter Warren Singer, a senior fellow at the Washington think tank New America, countered that lowering the enlistment age to 16 would undermine combat effectiveness and unit cohesion and create other problems.

Mr. Singer, author of the book “Children at War,” also said the very idea shows a “misunderstanding [of] the different brain chemistry of youths and their ability to make informed judgment” and would destroy “the day-to-day lives of the poor drill instructors and commanders of these teens’ first unit.”

He made his case in a piece for the military-focused website Task & Purpose.

Despite those and other concerns, the notion certainly isn’t new. At least 13 nations allow enlistees younger than 17, according to the CIA World Factbook. They include major powers such as the United Kingdom and smaller countries with much less capable militaries, such as Tonga, Bolivia and Papua New Guinea.

In the US, analysts say, there is a lack of data about the issue and it’s unclear exactly what effects military services would encounter if they begin admitting younger teens.

“I think the broader answer about all of this is we really don’t know,” said Beth J. Asch, a senior economist at the Rand Corp. who studies military recruiting. “There’s no current research on what the effects would be, how would it expand the market, their qualifications. We don’t know.”

Like other analysts, Ms. Asch said she believes the idea of signing up 16-year-olds has been off the table for decades and remains so today.

But the discussion underscores the armed forces’ systemic recruiting challenges.

Last year, the Army fell short of its recruiting goal for the first time in a decade. The Army had set a goal of 76,500 recruits and pulled in just under 70,000, according to Defense Department figures.

The Army and all other branches of the military expect to meet this year’s targets, but officials readily acknowledge that the recruiting environment is as difficult as ever, largely because of a soaring economy, a consistently low unemployment rate and more economic opportunities in the private sector for young Americans who otherwise might consider military service.

Analysts say that recruiting 16-year-olds doesn’t seem to be the right solution, but they stress that the military can and must improve its outreach to younger teenagers.

“You have to compete and be in the marketplace, and that’s something the military doesn’t do very well,” said Rebecca Burgess, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who studies military and veterans issues. “It tells the story of itself that’s very traditional: ‘We’re freedom fighters doing good throughout the world; be part of our team.’ And it expects people to kind of come to them.”

That, she said, is why recruiting offices too often are found in dying shopping malls or other low-traffic sites rather than out in the community.

The Pentagon uses video games to attract and recruit teenagers.

The military has taken serious steps in recent years to increase its visibility and engagement in the nation’s communities. The Army has launched a comprehensive recruiting program in major cities and said the approach already has paid huge dividends in the number of recruits from urban centers such as Baltimore and Minneapolis.

But analysts say the military’s past tack of using marketing slogans such as the Army’s “Be all you can be” mantra no longer works.

Instead, they say, the branches should craft multiple appeals centering on the host of benefits that come from military service, including educational assistance, patriotism, career benefits, and the host of jobs a man or woman can perform in the military outside of a combat zone.

“I think what’s happening now — and it’s not that messages aren’t important — but I think there’s a realization that different people are interested in different things,” said Ms. Asch. “It’s not one message. People want to join for a variety of reasons, so the message has to be somewhat tailored.

“The trick is to communicate all of that so people get the message they need to hear,” she said.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. 

ACTION ALERT: Resolution to Impeach for Reasons that Are Rarely Mentioned:  Illegal Wars and Torture

Veterans For Peace

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, David Swanson, and thousands of others of us worked hard to get Bush and Cheney impeached for illegal wars of aggression.

But a woman named Nancy Pelosi said at that time (when the Democrats also controlled the House) that it wasn’t the right time for impeachment.

Now here we are 12 years later and she is saying the same thing.  She needs to impeach or be replaced now!

Constitutional duties under oath are duties whether you like them or not.  These wars, deaths, injuries, homelessness all totaling millions of people and trillions of dollars wasted, could all have been stopped by one person Pelosi saying, “Impeach the bastards!”

Here is the resolution:

Impeach President Trump for Illegal Wars & Torture

Whereas, the US invasions, bombings and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other nations and torture, initiated by previous administrations continuing under President Trump, are illegal under US Constitution, laws, UN Charter, Hague and Geneva Conventions, UN Convention Against Torture and Nuremberg Tribunal Charter;

Whereas, Pres. Trump has committed criminal acts by continuing such illegal wars and torture without consent of Congress;

Whereas, the US military or surrogates continue to use depleted uranium munitions, cluster bombs and white phosphorous in densely populated areas violating US, international laws and treaties prohibiting the indiscriminate killing of civilians with Geneva Conventions specifically prohibiting weapons/materials causing harm by remaining active after battle; 

Whereas, babies born in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering abnormal medical issues caused by toxic/radioactive materials; 

Whereas, since 2001, millions of Iraqi, Afghani, Pakistani, Yemeni, Somali, Libyan, Syrian and other civilians have been killed, injured, maimed, poisoned, made homeless, economies ruined costing taxpayers trillions;  

Whereas, illegal torture of detainees and US citizens by our military, CIA and surrogates continues at Guantanamo and other facilities; and

Whereas, Americans and VFP supported impeachment of Bush/Cheney for similar war crimes now being committed by Trump and VFP is committed to abolish war as an instrument of national policy; 

Therefore Be It Resolved: VFP urges the US House of Representatives commence impeachment proceedings against Pres. Trump for illegal wars and torture in violation of our Constitution, laws, UN Charter, international laws and treaties and for other impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors; and 

Finally, Be It Resolved: VFP members are urged to provide this resolution to their US House member and encourage them to vote for commencing impeachment proceedings against Pres. Donald Trump.