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Hollowed out: U.S. Army fights brain drain

(BBC News) During and after the Iraq war, many Army officers left because of the US military’s gruelling pace. Now, officials are struggling with the consequences.

It is a March morning, cold and bright. The air smells like freshly mown grass at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, just outside Washington DC.

Inside a classroom in an old school, a red-brick building on Belvoir Road, blinds are pulled shut to keep out the sun.

The classroom is filled with Iraq veterans, including Capt Jason Allen, a 31-year-old engineer with pale blue eyes and a boyish face.

He once looked for homemade bombs on roads in Anbar, a province where more than 1,300 American troops died.