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Army Report: AWOLs Up 234%

08/12/2010 05:21 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Aaron Glantz Author, "The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle Against America's Veterans"

Tucked into this massive Army report on suicide is an interesting fact: Since 2004, the number of soldiers going AWOL, deserting, and "missing movement" -- that is failing to deploy when they're supposed to -- has gone up a shocking 234 percent.

The Army includes this fact on page 92 of the 350 page document, in a section on misdemeanor crimes -- alongside motor vehicle violations, substance abuse, and other crimes -- which collectively have been rising at the rate of more than 5,000 a year for the last five years.

"Good order and discipline are on the decline," the report says.

Alternatively, one could say that after seven years of war in Iraq and nearly a decade in Afghanistan, American soldiers are increasingly unwilling to risk their lives for unpopular wars with an unclear path to victory.

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