If the factor dragging down recruiting were the toll of the war in Iraq, why would those soldiers most affected by that war -- the ones who actually fought in it -- be re-enlisting in such huge numbers, easily exceeding retention goals?
But wait. So far, we've only talked about the Army. Before we fly with those scarelines in the Associated Press release, what about the other services? What about the Marines, the Navy, and the Air Force? The Marines, at least, have seen even heavier ground-war fighting during this last year than has the Army. If the war is turning people off of the military, then surely the Marines would suffer at least as badly as the Army, or even more so.
Oddly enough, the Department of Defense actually keeps a record of these sorts of figures. In fact, they make that record publicly available. Now, they haven't released the final figures of FY2005 (which would include the month of September), but they have released the year-to-date figures for October 2004 through August 2005, eleven months out of the twelve. You can find them here.
Go take a look at how "dismal" these figures are and you will find that almost exactly the reverse of what is asserted in the AP MSM story is true. Read the entire article linked to above and see what the real facts of the situation are.
How do they get away with this time after time? When will the gullible American public begin to understand that our news media has betrayed our country and is actively putting out propaganda [PROPAGANDA - n. The spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person; ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect] and not news.
Can you guess what cause they are furthering and whose cause they are deliberately and willfully damaging?