Iraq: A Job Well Done

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WASHINGTON: Although the battle damage assessments are still trickling in, operation Desert Fox looks to have been a great recruiters' war: 600 sorties in four days, no casualties. Of the Pentagon's 100 targets, 74 percent were hit successfully. Yes, for the U.S., war isn't exactly hell anymore. And yet the Pentagon is having trouble attracting -- and keeping -- America's finest. So in 2000, the armed forces are getting a raise. Paychecks will be hiked by 4.4 percent, and retirement benefits restored to 50 percent of base pay.

All that should play well on the posters. But the best part about fighting for the U.S. may be the muddled Mideast policy. With Iraqi leaders calling the UNSCOM inspection program "over" and Saddam still determined to build his arsenal of mass destruction, any late-volunteering soldiers, sailors and pilots who missed Operation Desert Fox may well get another chance next year.