Friday, October 20, 2006

Troops imitate Congress, get ticket home

via Needlenose, our men and women in uniform seem to be learning from their elected officials:
Troops' Debt a Growing Security Concern

Thousands of U.S. troops are being barred from overseas duty because they are so deep in debt they are considered security risks, according to an Associated Press review of military records.

The number of troops held back has climbed dramatically in the past few years. And while they appear to represent a very small percentage of all U.S. military personnel, the increase is occurring at a time when the armed forces are stretched thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We are seeing an alarming trend in degrading financial health," said Navy Capt. Mark D. Patton, commanding officer at San Diego's Naval Base Point Loma.

The Pentagon contends financial problems can distract personnel from their duties or make them vulnerable to bribery and treason. As a result, those who fall heavily into debt can be stripped of the security clearances they need to go overseas.

While the number of revoked clearances has surged since the beginning of the Iraq war, military officials say there is no evidence that service members are deliberately running up debts to stay out of harm's way.

I'm of two minds on this one. Given the fact that our military is so desperate for warm bodies that it cheerfully accepts skinheads, gang members, high school dropouts, etc., maybe they are right. Maybe it is simply a logical consequence of our tragically stupid policies. This recent story about military families depending on handouts to make ends meet is terrbly sad, but consistent with the other.

OTOH, think of the lengths people went to avoid service in the Vietnam era. Self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Fleeing to Canada. Pilondial cysts. Other priorities. And now all you have to do is max out your credit cards?

Even your average high school dropout won't have much trouble figuring that one out.


Blogger Tom said...

For more on how members of the military amass all that debt, just Google military loan company where you will find a ratio of 15 ads for loan companies sppecializing in military to just one article about usurious rates and tales of how officers encourage their troops to take them out.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think skinheads would be excellent soldiers. The word you're looking for is "boneheads" or "white power skinheads." Not all skinheads are the racist variety portrayed in the media.

4:07 PM  

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