Wednesday, March 01, 2006

American Foreign Legion?

Here’s an interesting article on how to tackle the problem of military personel shortage. It suggests we form a sort of American foreign legion where foreigners in this country would serve in the military in exchange for US citizenship.

While I realize that our troops are over-stretched now, and I agree with the author that this sounds better then waver of criminal records in exchange to join the military, the problems with this solution are many.

I don’t think the American people would feel more safe knowing that they are being protected by foreign nationals, whose only reason for doing so is in order to get US citizenship.

While there are obviously those in the military who are serving in order to pay for their schooling, or whatever other reason one might have, there is still this sense of patriotism (how prevalent this is is arguable) and care for one’s country. This is not something that could be expected from a foreign national who has spent only a short period of time in the country. I also question unity, cohesion and camaraderie of the troops if we were to incorporate the foreign legion into the regular military forces.

Most importantly, this foreign legion would open up a whole new channel for terrorists from all sides to infiltrate our military. I don’t think I need to go into more detail in order to portray how serious of a security threat this would be...just use your imagination.


Rusalka said...

I'd rather have criminals in the military-at least most of them already know how to fight.

It's a nice idea, but as you say, far too dangerous. Then again, it worked for the French.

Anonymous said...

You do know that foreigners already serve in the US military, right? One can enlist and serve and in many cases be rewarded with citizenship. No problems so far.

Gordon Shumway said...

Right, I realize that since 9/11 Bush has expediated the citizenship process for the military. However, even with that non-citizens only comprise about 2% (roughly 30,500 out of 1.4 million active-duty soldiers). There has to be a reason for such low numbers, and it would not surprise me if the reasons include some of the points I made above (especially, the terrorist infiltration).
I mean I'm not completely opposed to the idea of an American foreign legion, but I feel there would have to be some strict background checks for foreigners who want to enlist. Also, such a legion might work best in low-security, perhaps peace-keeping types of operations or other operations where the possibility of jeopardizing the U.S. security is low, rather than front lines in Iraq or Afghanistan. Just my two cents on the matter.

Waw Waw said...

Even if you are not a citizen, you still have to enlist in the selective service in order to get student loans.

Anonymous said...

Gordon -
Why do you think foreigners can't be as patriotic as people born in the United States? All the foreign born people I know who have moved to the U.S. have been more patriotic, have known more about American history, and have been happier to be here than many Americans that I know.