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Army desertion is not a new phenomenon but, overtime, has become a real cause of concern to the United States. More than 8,000 members of the US military have deserted since the Iraq war. Official records show that desertions represent 0.24% of the 1.4 million US forces. The prosecutions of desertion in the US Army have risen sharply resulting in thousands more discharges and imprisonment of junior soldiers, especially in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. From 2002 to 2006, the average annual rate of prosecutions of desertion tripled as compared with the period from 1997 to 2001 (roughly 6%). And the worst – studies reveal that about 70% of deserters left during their first year of duty and majority claiming “failure to adapt’’ problem. The most common and obvious reason for this type of act is psychiatric reasons, as the army says.
The US army might incarcerate all that deserts its ranks but the real crisis lies elsewhere. After all fighting and dying in distant land for a cause that is at best whimsical doesn’t attract too many Americans. It’s better for Bush to understand that before engaging Iran.