Reuters is the latest news outlet to outline the Army’s recruiting woes: "Recruiting for the Army’s reserve component — the National Guard and Army Reserve — is suffering even more as the Pentagon relies heavily on these part-time soldiers to maintain troop levels in Iraq. The regular Army is 6 percent behind its year-to-date recruiting target, the Reserve is 10 percent behind, and the Guard is 26 percent short."
Here’s how Defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute summed up the problem: "There’s a bottom line to the recruiting debate. People don’t want to die."
Reuters also suggests the draft may be needed: "Iraq marks the first protracted conflict for U.S. forces since the end of the draft in 1973, which ushered in the era of the all-volunteer military. If the military fails to attract enough recruits and America maintains a large commitment in Iraq, the nation may have to consider some form of conscription, said Cato Institute defense analyst Charles Pena. ‘This is getting dicey,’ said Pena. ‘The military can hold things together on a relatively short-term basis through some fairly extreme measures like ‘stop-loss’ and making much greater use of Reserve and Guard units to fill the requirements in Iraq. But you cannot do this indefinitely. At some point, you break the force. And the question is: how close are we to that breaking point?’"