Strategypage has a brief write-up about status of military recruitment efforts:
In the last six months, the U.S. Army is seeing 15 percent more soldiers re-enlist than expected. This continues a trend that began in 2001. Every year since then, the rate at which existing soldiers have re-enlisted has increased. This despite the fact that 69 percent of the troops killed in Iraq have been from the army. New recruits continue to exceed join up at higher rates as well.
Further, morale levels are quite high:
The army makes a big thing, internally, about the number of troops re-enlisting, especially within combat units that are in Iraq or Afghanistan. Pictures of mass re-enlistments are published in military media, but the civilian media has generally ignored this phenomena. Also ignored, except by some local media interviewing locals who are in the army, is the positive attitude of the troops, especially those in combat units. The large number of re-enlistments occur because the troops believe they are making a difference, and winning. This is especially true for soldiers who have come back to Iraq on a second tour, and noted the improvements since the first tour.
One of our neighbors has been serving in Iraq the past several months, and is currently home for a short leave (he returns in a few days). I spoke with him last week about morale levels, and he provides confirmation that indeed, the troops have consistently high morale. “We’re very well taken care of,” is what he says. “We know we’re there for the right reasons, and we’re doing noble work.”
Yet the Democrats seem intent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
My neighbor says the biggest frustration the troops have is the discouraging and defeatist message being presented by the media. “We watch CNN reports about Iraq, and what they are reporting is just not an accurate story about what is going on. Often, there will be a reporter in Baghdad talking about an operation underway up in our area, hundreds of miles away. The reporter hasn’t been here, and clearly is clueless about the facts of the operation.”