Army desertions not yet as bad as Vietnam

According to the Associated Press, desertion rates are now 80% higher than when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, and at the highest rate since 1980. Desertions have increased 42% from last fiscal year (beginning on October 1). “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. . . . Despite the continued increase in 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 get. Some are allowed to simply return to their units, while most are given less-than-honorable discharges.” Desertion totals are not yet as high as during the Vietnam War, however the article does not compare force size and avoids comparing rates.

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