Archive for the ‘armed forces’ Category

US soldiers re-enlisting because of poor economy

December 2, 2008

Sgt. Ryan Nyhus spent 14 months patrolling the deadly streets of Baghdad, where five members of his platoon were shot and one died. As bad as that was, he would rather go back there than take his chances in this brutal job market.

Nyhus re-enlisted last Wednesday, and in so doing joined the growing ranks of those choosing to stay in the U.S. military because of the bleak economy.

“In the Army, you’re always guaranteed a steady paycheck and a job,” said the 21-year-old Nyhus. “Deploying’s something that’s going to happen. That’s a fact of life in the Army — a fact of life in the infantry.”

By JOHN MILBURN and STEPHEN MANNING, Associated Press Writers

A U.S. Army soldier from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry ...
A U.S. Army soldier from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment searches a building as his platoon leader meets with Iraqi police and security volunteers in Baqouba, 35 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008.(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

In 2008, as the stock market cratered and the housing market collapsed, more young members of the Army, Air Force and Navy decided to re-up. While several factors might explain the rise in re-enlistments, including a decline in violence in Iraq, Pentagon officials acknowledge that bad news for the economy is usually good news for the military.

In fact, the Pentagon just completed its strongest recruiting year in four years.

“We do benefit when things look less positive in civil society,” said David Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. “What difficult economic times give us, I think, is an opening to make our case to people who we might not otherwise have.”

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U.S., Poland Closer to Deal on Missile Defense

February 2, 2008

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 2, 2008; Page A16

The United States and Poland broke a logjam yesterday in negotiations over U.S. plans to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, with the Bush administration committing “in principle” to help Poland modernize its armed forces.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shakes hands with ...
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shakes hands with Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski after a news conference at the State Department in Washington February 1, 2008. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Poland is “satisfied that our arguments have got through,” Foreign Affairs Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said. At a news conference yesterday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sikorski said that “separate” dialogues would now continue “both on the missile defense base and on the modernization.”

Talks on the Pentagon‘s plan to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland stalled after the new Polish government, which took office in November, proved less receptive to the shield than its predecessor. With the public increasingly….

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A Conversation With Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf

December 16, 2007

By Lally Weymouth
The Washington Post
Sunday, December 16, 2007; Page B1

An angry President Pervez Musharraf defended imposing a state of emergency on Pakistan and blamed the Western media for many of his problems — from increased attacks by Islamic extremists to lawyers who have taken to the streets to protest his suspension of the constitution and firing of the country’s chief justice. In an interview with Newsweek-Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth, the Pakistani president reiterated that he would lift the state of emergency Saturday but will not reinstate judges who opposed him. Despite his opponents’ doubts, Musharraf insisted he will ensure a free and fair election in January. But he refused to say whether he would endorse a constitutional amendment to allow former prime minister Benazir Bhutto to serve a third term.

Q. Is there a difference now that you have shed your uniform and relinquished your post of army chief of staff?

A. On a personal note, I loved my uniform. From th national point of view, I don’t think there is a difference. I think the overall situation will be better and stronger. The army is being managed by a chief of staff dedicated to the job, and I will be president of Pakistan, and if the two are totally in harmony, the situation is better.
Pakistan's purged Supreme Court demolished the final hurdle to President Pervez Musharraf's re-election, paving the way for him to become a civilian leader after eight years of army rule.(AFP/File/Tanveer Mughal)

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Musharraf’s Obsolete Way

August 5, 2007

By Jim Hoagland
The Washington Post
Sunday, August 5, 2007; Page B07

Watching Pervez Musharraf perform brings to mind Fred Astaire. The Pakistani president tap-dances so nimbly across the world stage with such flair that you forget he is practicing a dying art.

Musharraf’s art is running a soft military dictatorship — albeit with civilian trappings — in a socially fractured Islamic nation that is a nuclear power and a key front in the U.S. war on global terrorism.

He has been dancing as fast and as skillfully as he can as he balances atop the most dangerous country on Earth.

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Pervez Musharraf
پرويز مشرف
Pervez Musharraf