Thursday, December 28, 2006
The new foreign legion?
The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks, including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and put more immigrants on a faster track to U.S. citizenship if they volunteer, according to Pentagon officials.
Foreign citizens' serving in the U.S. military is a highly charged issue, which could expose the Pentagon to criticism that it is essentially using mercenaries to defend the country. Other analysts voice concern that a large contingent of noncitizens under arms could jeopardize national security or reflect badly on Americans' willingness to serve in uniform.
Uh, yeah.The story says that the number of soldiers who've gained citizenship through serving has increased by about six times since 9/11... but the total is still under 5,000, so we're talking about a very small piece of the pie here.
That said, it was recently reported that there are about as many private contractors in Iraq as there are active military. So, overall, the "mercenary" fears seem warranted.