Follow up on the Army fixing recruitment goal numbers to justify SURGE in Afghanistan


A few days ago, we at VT received this feedback and commentary sent in by from Paul Sullivan, Executive Director, Veterans for Common Sense (VCS).

It was his message to the article author reporter Fred Kaplan at State highlighting the fact that Kaplan’s article and this VT post left out a very significant aspect of Army number crunching for Afghanistan – the continued use and abuse of the National Guard and Reserves as the Army fixes recruitment quotas as if our recruits and troops were beans.


Paul’s commentary and response to Slate reporter Kaplan were in reaction to our Special Report: Is the Army fixing recruitment goal numbers to justify SURGE in Afghanistan?


Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired
GS-14, U.S. Civil Service-Retired
Veterans Advocacy Editor
VT News Network &
Our Troops News Ladder     Abuse of the Reserve and National Guard to sustain Multiple Combat Tours

Dear Mr. Kaplan,

Your essay was forwarded to me.

You might want to know that two factors are often overlooked when the military spins the recruiting statistics.


First, the Reserve and National Guard have deployed more than 500,000 troops to the two war zones. This count reflects the shortage of recruits. If the military had recruited the number of troops it needed to fight wars, then it would not have been required to abuse the Reserve and National Guard.

Second, the military has deployed 800,000 (40 percent of the two million total) to the war zones twice or more.

During the Vietnam War, the requirement was a single tour, and then the service member was released. Now, the military endlessly redeploys and "churns" our military. The number of repeat deployments reflects a shortage of recruits.

Furthermore, repeated deployment increases the risk of PTSD, and thus suicide, by 50 percent. That’s why we keep seeing record numbers of suicides each year, as shown in this brand new article.

Best, Paul.

Paul Sullivan
Executive Director
Veterans for Common Sense
Post Office Box 77304
Washington, DC 20013
(202) 558-4553

Posted by: Major Robert L. Hanafin, USAF-Retired


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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.