The US Army has been facing a recruitment crisis for some time now — and new data shines a light on the demographic that seems particularly uninterested in serving: white people.
A Military.com report reveals:
A total of 44,042 new Army recruits were categorized by the service as white in 2018, but that number has fallen consistently each year to a low of 25,070 in 2023, with a 6 percent dip from 2022 to 2023 being the most significant drop. No other demographic group has seen such a precipitous decline, though there have been ups and downs from year to year.
Black recruitment also fell during this period, while Hispanic recruitment jumped from 17 percent to 24 percent.
“[The Army doesn’t] see a single cause to the recruiting problem,” the story says, “but pointed to a confluence of issues for Army recruiting, including partisan scrutiny of the service, a growing obesity epidemic and an underfunded public education system.”
The Army itself may not know where its recruitment crisis stems from, but military veterans, a quarter of whom would advise young people not to enlist, may have an idea. According to an American Principles Project poll, “73 percent of veterans believe that the US military has become too political regarding race, gender and sexuality.”
On our radar
NEVER NIKKI Republican senator Rand Paul announced Friday that he is not yet endorsing a GOP primary candidate, but promised to always oppose former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who he says is too interventionist on foreign policy to lead the country, among other things.
BIDEN’S DEFENSE The Biden administration launched airstrikes in Yemen to counter the Houthi rebels who have been firing their own missiles in an attempt to disrupt shipping in the Red Sea. The Houthis say their actions are a protest against America arming Israel in its war against Hamas.
DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YA Mayor Eric Adams said New York City did the right thing in forcing high-school students to pivot to remote education several days this week so that illegal migrants could sleep at their school.
Ways and Means to an end
The House GOP’s ongoing investigations of the Biden family are starting to cause serious headaches for one of their own: the chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Missouri’s Jason Smith.
Along with the Judiciary and Oversight Committees, the normally sleepy Ways and Means Committee has seized the spotlight on leading the impeachment inquiry of President Biden, with IRS whistleblowers testifying about topics such as Ukrainian energy company Burisma paying Hunter Biden millions of dollars. Smith said such testimony is “vital to understanding efforts by top officials to protect Joe Biden.”
While there’s certainly a reason why the Ways and Means Committee should be involved in an impeachment inquiry, some committee Republicans want to focus on what’s long been the committee’s bread and butter: cutting taxes. There’s been a notable shift from when longtime committee member, Kevin Brady, ran the show; while Brady was chair during the Trump administration, the committee ran point on the Trump tax cuts.
On some levels, Smith was an unusual choice to succeed Brady, because he vaulted over several more senior committee members to become the youngest-ever chair of the committee, aged forty-two. A touch over one year into his chairmanship, the self-proclaimed “firebrand” conservative from rural America has taken his committee in that direction. But with his powerful ally, Kevin McCarthy, now watching Congress’s business on C-SPAN and having lunch with the FT, Smith will have to handle any possible rebellion in his midst himself.
The media doesn’t want you to hear about Dean Phillips
Is there a conspiracy to keep Dean Phillips off the air? The Minnesota congressman is running against Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary — and he claims he’s being ignored by the more Biden-sympathetic television networks.
“I’m appalled,” Phillips says of MSNBC and CNN in a new Politico magazine interview. “I’m disappointed. I’m disgusted that professionals who ostensibly have committed their entire careers to sharing truth and to providing facts and to sharing information with American voters… are fundamentally avoiding their responsibilities.”
The piece points out that Phillips has not been offered a CNN town hall — unlike Republican contender Vivek Ramaswamy and former contender Chris Christie.
“I do know of specific cases where representatives of the Biden campaign have been very clear to others about trying to not attend events of mine, to not support me, and to not platform me,” Phillips told Michael Schaffer. “It is almost antithetical to democratic principles, which include debate, deliberation and ultimately compromise.”
MSNBC has offered a landing spot to a number of departing Biden administration press shop staffers — Jen Psaki and Symone Sanders both host weekend shows on the network. But Phillips is a very distant second in most polls, and third in some. The latest New Hampshire poll, where Biden isn’t on the ballot, has the incumbent at 49 percent as a write-in, with Phillips at 16 percent and Marianne Williamson at 5 percent. That’s Phillips’s best poll, anywhere, ever.
The Democratic National Committee is not planning to host any primary debates between Biden and his two distant opponents — much as the RNC didn’t in the 2020 cycle. The last incumbent president to participate in a primary debate was Gerald Ford. There may be other logical explanations for not sacrificing airtime to Dean Phillips than the cozy relationships between Team Biden and the networks…