Via Inside Higher Ed, the Boston Globe reports that the Pentagon opposes increasing GI Bill funding. Why? Because if they gave them full tuition, eligible soldiers might not re-enlist:
Now, five years into the Iraq conflict, a movement is gathering steam in Washington to boost the payout of the GI Bill, to provide a true war-time benefit for war- time service. But the effort has run headlong into another reality of an unpopular war: the struggle to sustain an all-volunteer force.
The Pentagon and White House have so far resisted a new GI Bill out of fear that too many will use it – choosing to shed the uniform in favor of school and civilian life.
“The incentive to serve and leave,” said Robert Clarke, assistant director of accessions policy at the Department of Defense, may “outweigh the incentive to have them stay.”
Yeah, we can’t have that. How dare they think of trying to better themselves through education, rather than slogging along forever as members of the underclass, dodging bullets for their betters. It’s not like we recruit soldiers by promising that military service will give them useful skills and money for college, or anything like that…