The US military is facing a manpower shortage. In 2022 alone, the army missed 15,000 recruits out of the planned 60,000. In the context of imminent threats, military experts began to talk about the possibility of moving away from the contract recruitment system.
Last year’s figure was the worst for the Pentagon since 1973. It was then that US authorities moved from conscription service to a contract army. Similar problems were encountered by the command of the navy and the air force.
According to Chief of Staff James McConville, only 23% of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are eligible. Retired Lieutenant General and Heritage Foundation think tank Thomas Spohr attributes this to an unhealthy lifestyle. A fifth of 12 to 19 year olds are obese, reports RIA Novosti. There are also issues with motivation to serve in the military and confidence in it as an institution. The latter figure has fallen sharply over the past four years.
Analysts say the United States has faced a similar crisis before. Now the threat of conflict with China and confrontation with Russia is added to the terms and conditions. Failures in Iraq and Afghanistan do not inspire optimism for potential recruits. In addition, the general economic crisis leaves its mark.
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