The recession is proving to be a boon for Army recruitment (this is always true), as the Army plans to complete its 2012 expansion two years early. There are other benefits:
The army also sees increased “dwell time” as a partial cure for combat fatigue, and a major boost for morale. Currently, because of last year’s surge campaign in Iraq (the addition of five more brigades in Iraq and extension of tours from 12 to 15 months), troops spend a bit less than a month at home for each month in combat. This year, the dwell time will return to one month at home for each one in combat. By 2009, it will be 1.5 at home for each one in combat. Eventually, the army wants to get dwell time up to three months for each one in combat. With the accelerated expansion of the force, that may be accomplished within five years.
Why President Bush or Congress didn’t push for increases in the active duty and reserve rosters back in 2001, I have no idea.