Is the U.S. Government Manipulating recruits?
As noticed (I think exclusively) by Democracy Now!, the Government Accountability Office released a report that showed that the U.S. Government spent 1.62 billion dollars on advertising and public relations in the last two years, the majority of it spent by the Department of Defense ($1.1 billion).
I don't think this is appropriate. Most of this money seems to have been spent to recruit, through manipulation, new 'voluntary' members of the military. The military already receives huge amounts of money to offer incentives to recruits who join.
The advertising and public manipulation dollars that must be spent by the military to maintian recruiting levels shows the degree to which military recruitment is anti-democratic. For in order to convince young residents of the United States to join the military, the military must spent vast resources finding ways to convince them.
If the cause of joining the military was just and right, then presumably the military would not need to spend any money convincing residents to join the military - there would be lines around the block of recruits eager to join.
This recruiting problem shows the disconnect between government policy on the one hand - foreign policy, United States' global military adventurism for example - and the views, sentiments, desires and hopes of regular residents of the United States on the other hand.
It reveals the almost total failure of the U. S. Democracy (need we look farther than the 50% U.S. voter participation in elections for confirmation of this conclusion?).