President Bush offered an upbeat assessment on Friday of progress in Iraq, saying that while corruption remained a problem and unemployment was high, the economy was growing, violence was down and, “slowly but surely, the people of Iraq are reclaiming a normal society.”
The Army began its recruiting year Oct. 1 with fewer signed up for basic training than in any year since it became an all-volunteer service in 1973, a top general said Wednesday. Gen. William S. Wallace, whose duties as commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command include management of recruiting, told reporters at the Pentagon that the historic dip will make it harder to achieve the full-year recruiting goal—after just barely reaching it in the year ended Sept. 30.
Achieving the Army’s recruiting goals—a challenge in the best of times—is not only more difficult now but also of more consequence. That is because the Army has decided that it must grow its active-duty force by several thousand soldiers a year in order to relieve strain on war-weary troops.