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This was a fascinating piece (available here) I found on the BBC, about how even al Qaeda is lowering the bar as far as new recruits is concerned.

For some time now, the US military has been experiencing problems in maintaining recruitment levels – both in terms of the absolute numbers of people joining the military as well as the relative quality of these people). This has been an on-going and fairly long-standing problem (see, for instance this report; or this report). A more detailed study of the problems in US military recruitment patterns is available here. The executive summary of a RAND report on this is also available here.

This problem is not unique to the US mlitary. A report (available here) suggests that the problems that the US military has been facing are replicated in the case of the Chinese military as well. A Canadian report expressed concerns about the declining quality of new recruits into the Canadian military.

So now even terrorist groups are starting to find similar problems in finding enough of good-quality recruits. Is this something of a global trend> Certainly worth further examination.

Our thanks to reader Roslyn Wilson for this infographic, the original of which can be accessed here.

A commentary by Conrad Crane, appearing in the latest issue of Parameters (and available here). The first line of the commentary, which is the title of this entry, says it all.

As Crane notes, “Decisionmakers must be careful to maintain enough military power to handle all contingencies, even those involving major ground forces.” These actors, he argues, have to resist the apparent allure of “easy results” by utilising “standoff technology [that] might again lead to an unintended complex conflict in an unexpected place.” Otherwise, the end result will be the loss of “blood and treasure, and perhaps even strategic failure. Those are the costs of an unbalanced force structure and a lack of the full range of military capabilities.”

Wise words!

One for the techies amongst our readers (available here). The article outlines some of the ore exotic military technologies that the US might bring to bear if it conducts military operations against Syria in the near future.

A commentary by colleague Paul Mitchell of the Canadian Forces College, published by The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, (and available here) for your reading pleasure. While Paul’s focus is on Canadian strategic requirements, don’t let that fool you into thinking it is irrelevant to other countries. The strategic dilemmas that Paul identifies apply pretty much to any country thinking of acquiring the F-35.

many thanks to reader Amiya Fernando for the infographic provided below. I should add that while this blog accepts submissions from our readers, these submissions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the members of this blog. Nevertheless, in the spirit of free and open debate and exchange of ideas and views, we are happy to share this with our readers.

<img src="American War Crimes
Source: TopCriminalJusticeDegrees.org” alt=”Infographic of war crimes” />

A fascinating study of an admittedly macabre and politically and morally very problematic issue in the history of warfare can be found in The Economist (available here).