And Some Perspective
Here's what they aren't telling you.
1) Desertion rates are not up measurably. Desertion rates, like every other major criminal statistic in a fairly small population, fluctuate from year to year. The only way to spin the story the way the Associated Press does is to take a low year as the baseline and measure a high year compared to that low baseline.
2) If you take desertion rates back to 1994, the year with the highest rate is 2000, at 9.50 per 1,000. 1999 and 2001 are not much different.
3) In 2003, the desertion rate was approximately the same as it was this year, 7.6.
4) During World War II, which even the leftists hold up as the "good war" fought with "popular support" by the "greatest generation" (because even the lowest, most doctrinaire Communist cannot object to a war which fought actual fascists alongside the Soviet Union and did so by nationalizing the entire economy) the desertion rate averaged 63 per 1,000. That's about 9 times as high as the desertion rate this year.
5) I do not begin to address the confusion evident on the part of the incompetent correspondent as to the difference between fiscal and calendar years, or between AWOL status and Desertion.
I don't know any stronger curses.
I wish folks like this had to live in Iraq after we leave, should we do so prematurely. Might give them some damn perspective. I believe the Romans were fond of using proscription as a punishment for conspiracies against the Republic for this reason.