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Author Topic: Soldiering for Citizenship
WarrsawPact
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This is some of the thinking-out-loud that I've seen echoed by a number of other people. At first I was surprised that I had come to the same conclusion as others.

Here's the problem: We're facing a shortage of troops when the next war comes (and likely, it will come).

Here's the proposed solution:
You fight for us, and we'll make you a US citizen.

Here's what Max Boot (senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations) at the LA Times has to say:
quote:
Uncle Sam Wants Tu

It is hard to pick up a newspaper these days without reading about Army and Marine Corps recruiting and retention woes. Nonstop deployments and the danger faced by troops in Iraq are making it hard for both services to fill their ranks. The same goes for the National Guard and Reserves. (The Navy and Air Force, which are much less in harm's way, have no such difficulty.)

Just to stay at their present sizes, the Army and Marines are shoveling money into more advertising, extra recruiters and bigger enlistment bonuses. And yet it's clear to everyone (except, that is, President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) that the U.S. military is far too small to handle all the missions thrown its way. We need to not only maintain the current ranks but also to expand them in order to recover from a 1990s downsizing in which the Army lost 300,000 soldiers.

Some experts are already starting to wonder whether the war on terrorism might break the all-volunteer military. But because reinstating the draft isn't a serious option (the House defeated a symbolic draft bill last year, 402 to 2), some outside-the-box thinking is needed to fill up the ranks. In this regard, I note that there is a pretty big pool of manpower that's not being tapped: everyone on the planet who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Since 9/11, Bush has expedited the naturalization process for soldiers. But to enlist, the Pentagon requires either proof of citizenship or a green card. Out of an active-duty force of about 1.4 million, only 108,803 are foreign-born (7%) and 30,541 are noncitizens (2%).

This is an anomaly by historical standards: In the 19th century, when the foreign-born population of the United States was much higher, so was the percentage of foreigners serving in the military. During the Civil War, at least 20% of Union soldiers were immigrants, and many of them had just stepped off the boat before donning a blue uniform. There were even entire units, like the 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry (the Scandinavian Regiment) and Gen. Louis Blenker's German Division, where English was hardly spoken.

The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones and, as important, to untold numbers of young men and women who are not here now but would like to come. No doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period in return for one of the world's most precious commodities -- U.S. citizenship. Open up recruiting stations from Budapest to Bangkok, Cape Town to Cairo, Montreal to Mexico City. Some might deride those who sign up as mercenaries, but these troops would have significantly different motives than the usual soldier of fortune.

The simplest thing to do would be to sign up foreigners for the regular U.S. military, but it would also make sense to create a unit whose enlisted ranks would be composed entirely of non-Americans, led by U.S. officers and NCOs.

Call it the Freedom Legion. As its name implies, this unit would be modeled on the French Foreign Legion, except, again, U.S. citizenship would be part of the "pay." And rather than fighting for U.S. security writ small -- the way the Foreign Legion fights for the glory of France -- it would have as its mission defending and advancing freedom across the world. It would be, in effect, a multinational force under U.S. command -- but one that wouldn't require the permission of France, Germany or the United Nations to deploy.

The Freedom Legion would be the perfect unit to employ in places such as Darfur that are not critical security concerns but that cry out for more effective humanitarian intervention than any international organization could muster. U.S. politicians, so wary (and rightly so) of casualties among U.S. citizens, might take a more lenient attitude toward the employment of a force not made up of their constituents. An added benefit is that by recruiting foreigners, the U.S. military could address its most pressing strategic deficit in the war on terrorism -- lack of knowledge about other cultures. The most efficient way to expand the government's corps of Pashto or Arabic speakers isn't to send native-born Americans to language schools; it's to recruit native speakers of those languages.

Similar considerations early in the Cold War led Congress to pass the Lodge Act in 1950. This law allowed the Army Special Forces to recruit foreigners not living in the United States with the promise of citizenship after five years of service. More than 200 Eastern Europeans qualified as commandos before the Lodge Act expired in 1959. There's no reason why we couldn't recruit a fresh batch of foreigners today. It would certainly be easier than trying to sweet-talk more troops out of recalcitrant allies or, these days, recruiting at U.S. high schools.

This is funny because I had recently posted this as a comment to another site:
quote:
Think about this for a second.

How many immigrants in this country *really badly* don’t want to get deported? The kinds of people who paid soem coyote to lock them up in an unventilated cargo container, or the kinds of people who still haven’t trekked across the unforgiving desert trying to make it here?
There are millions of illegal immigrants already in this conutry, heavily disproportionately male and disproportionately of military age. This is the best kind of amnesty deal I can imagine.

If they sign up, look at the benefits:
1.) A significant number of immigrants would then be fighting for the defense of America, for the spread of America’s values and style of governance. It’s not just about a job to anyone who decides to do this. They’d even get to pick up some of the language and a strong work ethic. What better way to increase a feeling of actually being American in an immigrant?
2.) If they get into the combat zone, and suddenly decide they don’t like it there, what are they going to do? Leave Iraq for a return trip to Guatemala?
3.) We could pick and choose certain language and ethnic groups for military service; envision conscription of Arab-speaking citizen-hopefuls for work in the US, and Spanish-speakers could come in handy in operations in say, Venezuela and Colombia. How about Chinese illegals, given the option of joining the military for amnesty?

And again, are they likely to be a wasted investment? Will a Chinese man decide, "No, I don’t much like the military life, and having my language skills exploited like this... I’d rather they send me back to China now that they know my country of origin and name. I’m sure China will welcome back a person who fled the country and voluntarily joined the US military."

Seriously: millions of potential recruits.

What do you think?
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KnightEnder
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Sounds good to me. What's the age limit for joining the Army?

KE

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Zyne
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So, if you're illegal to be in the US, it's okay, as long as you're willing to risk your life for the US?

I don't think we have to worry too much about these folks' work ethics.

Terrible policy. A true lottery for the illegals, some of which we can use and some of which we cannot. And another lottery for the citizens and resident aliens who would join up, but for rejection from the armed services.

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WarrsawPact
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Zyne - Think about it like this: if you're the kind of person who is willing to risk your life defending American interests, fighting with an American flag patched to your arm, haven't you proven you're more than a lottery shot?

We could ensure that nobody currently illegal who tried to sign up would be deported.

And finally, look at the benefit for a second. You can mention that the "lottery" thing isn't good, but is that really a good reason to reject a policy that could substantially boost our troop levels at such a critical time?

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Sancselfieme
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Seems kind of unfair to those who wouldn't be able to fight. We shouldn't base qualifications for citizenship on fascist segregation principles.
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kelcimer
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quote:
Seems kind of unfair to those who wouldn't be able to fight.
You do not seem to understand the nature of a bargin. In a bargin one person does something for another for something in return.

This is not to say that a relationship can't be onesided because they can. But those kinds of relationships are not as trust worthy. Why? Because there is always a catch. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

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Sancselfieme
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We shouldn't make our immigration policy, or any part of it, a BARGAIN. We should not be in the business of selling our citizenship to mercenaries!
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WarrsawPact
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... considering the situation, why not?

What would we lose? Something more important, I presume, than winning this war?

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Snowden
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Our dignity.
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WarrsawPact
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Oh please. That's the kind of dignity that British soldiers showed walking from place to place to show disdain for German gunfire. No runners were they!

If it looks stupid, but works, it's not stupid.

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A. Alzabo
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WP:
quote:
... considering the situation, why not?

What would we lose? Something more important, I presume, than winning this war?

I don't have too much of a problem with this, although the Romans showed us some of the limits of this plan. I do think we should maybe enlist pasty pundits and think-tank dwellers like Boot who are already citizen before we need to resort to this...

quote:
Seriously: millions of potential recruits.

Indeed.
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WarrsawPact
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Heh, A. Alzabo, I was JUST thinking of the Romans too!

Boot is indeed a pundit, but he has his share of entertaining thoughts.

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Sancselfieme
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First of all allegiance bought is never TRUE allegiance, this would open the door to all kinds of possible treachery, we would be setting ourselves up for massive-scale betrayal and letting untold numbers of possible counter-agents into our armed forces.

Second this sends a message to the rest of the world that we WANT a military capable of "breaking out" which causes China and others to remind us that we cannot oppose all of them, and probably not even a few of them together. At the very least it would spurn a new type of arms race, at the very worst it could actually LEAD to long-term strategic enemies deciding to pre-empt us before they think we become untouchable.

Merely the problems of HAVING a military that size are enough in themselves. The military would become a significant political group if it had millions and millions of members, it would become entrenched in the required beaurocracy for such an immense force, and it would allow the neo-cons to launch new imperialistic wars all over the place.
After 4 years of War and Death I have no doubt that if Bush were given a million-man army he would immediately invade Iran and Syria.

[ March 08, 2005, 03:06 AM: Message edited by: Sancselfieme ]

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Slander Monkey
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WarrsawPact, super-debater or super-villain?

quote:
Boot said:
The Freedom Legion would be the perfect unit to employ in places such as Darfur that are not critical security concerns but that cry out for more effective humanitarian intervention than any international organization could muster. U.S. politicians, so wary (and rightly so) of casualties among U.S. citizens, might take a more lenient attitude toward the employment of a force not made up of their constituents.

quote:
Warrsaw said:
2.) If they get into the combat zone, and suddenly decide they don’t like it there, what are they going to do? Leave Iraq for a return trip to Guatemala?
...
And again, are they likely to be a wasted investment? Will a Chinese man decide, "No, I don’t much like the military life, and having my language skills exploited like this... I’d rather they send me back to China now that they know my country of origin and name. I’m sure China will welcome back a person who fled the country and voluntarily joined the US military."

Rationally twisted, twistedly rational... I don't know but I just got a vision of what the President might say at the first "service-earned citizenship" graduation:

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you for the first time ever, first generation American citizens who are already deeply cynical about their chosen land and government.

I'm all for offering citizenship if we allow non-citizens to serve -- it seems only right, but batman's underpants, let's at least discuss the real reasons why we would need to fill the ranks with non-citizens before we start up the program.

If we look at the military as a plain old extension of our foreign policy (which is mighty popular these days), then it seems almost irrelevant who serves in the military -- fill the ranks with autonomous assasin robots, if you want. They are our can of whoopass that we can open up when and where we want. But I think if you ask the average American (i.e. most Americans) what the purpose of the military is, they would say that it is simply there to protect us from threats abroad. The difference being that Joe American is not going to become G.I. Joe until he feels that the threat warrants it. And as rational as it is to use the military as a foreign policy lever, I think that the more it's used, the sooner the populous will choose to assert that it shouldn't be.

The thing that I can't figure out, though, is why there are people who will use all possible words to describe the seriousness of the current threat, and the lack of troops, and yet not find it serious enough to join up themselves. Perhaps they're all too old to fight, but not too old to talk, I don't know. I personally find it hard to justify support for a war, without also feeling a duty to serve -- as reasonable a pivot as any, I think.

In my estimation, filling the manpower gap with non-citizens would seem to be just adding one more layer of insulation between us and our actions, and taking us one step closer to becoming a nation without any sense of responsibility. Does it even matter anymore?

I'm guessing that the public will be very uncomfortable endorsing another war in the near future, and so the point may end up moot... but GWB and associates will undoubtedly try and prove that statement wrong. In any case, I think that using military service as a key to citizenship is not an inherently bad idea... but in the hands of an evil super-villain, well... that's another story.

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Loki
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quote:
What would we lose? Something more important, I presume, than winning this war?
How are we going to lose this war? It's virtually been won already, only does the war continue because we search for new targets that may or may not be threatening.

As far as service for citizenship goes, anyone who's read starship troopers knows the idea. Only not everyone is a citizen, only those who serve, up to two years and more if needed, and only after they retire are they citizens allowed to vote.

quote:
He sighed. "Another year, another class — and, for me, another failure. One can lead a child to knowledge but one cannot make him think." Suddenly he pointed his stump at me. "You. What is the moral difference, if any, between the soldier and the civilian?"

"The difference," I answered carefully, "lies in the field of civic virtue. A soldier accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life. The civilian does not."

I do not wish to take responsibility for this government, nor any government for nearly the last 100 years. We need something more, something better, perhaps if we had that, I would serve and take responsibility for that government, and earn myself the vote.
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WarrsawPact
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Sanc:
quote:
First of all allegiance bought is never TRUE allegiance, this would open the door to all kinds of possible treachery, we would be setting ourselves up for massive-scale betrayal and letting untold numbers of possible counter-agents into our armed forces.
I think the possible levels of treachery would be far outweighed by the potential for so many troops.
We're trusting them with GUNS, not uber-top-secret intelligence.
Anyway, is a Mexican likely to suddenly decide he's more fond of Colombia than the citizenship and opportunity he's been promised?

And furthermore, "allegiance bought" is the message of every recruiter who promises opportunities for college and job training and money at some point before or after service. It's not entirely bought; the benefits are simply a big perk.
How many people who don't already want to defend the ideals of America do you think will join up? I mean it; roughly, what percentage?
"I want to cross the border and not get deported; ooh hey, I could risk my life fighting for the next several years and secure my citizenship for *sure*. That's much better than the risk of being deported."

Some people who already have already internalized a lot of American values will join partly to secure citizenship if it is offered so openly. These are people who are more likely to already know a respectable chunk of the language, as well.
But people who are here just for spending cash to send home every week to the family? Well, they'd see something like this as basically a raw deal.

quote:
Second this sends a message to the rest of the world that we WANT a military capable of "breaking out" which causes China and others to remind us that we cannot oppose all of them, and probably not even a few of them together.
"Breaking out"? We already control the waves. We have occupied two countries in the last three and a half years. Will something like this really convince anyone that oh, NOW we have designs on pushing our foreign policy down everyone's throats?

As many Ornerites know by now, I'm fond of telling the story of the American diplomat to China who keeps a picture of an aircraft carrier on his wall, with the caption "90,000 Tons of Diplomacy."
Knowing we have a foreign legion full of troops who were more than happy to join up to become real certified Americans would simply prevent people like the Iranian defense minister from claiming we have our hands tied and that we couldn't possibly pose a threat to their designs.

We wouldn't have to worry so much about hearing that our Reserves and National Guard compose a "broken force," or about a "backdoor draft." This would be yet another voluntary program, and one that could help relieve some of the pressure from our own American troops.

quote:
Merely the problems of HAVING a military that size are enough in themselves. The military would become a significant political group if it had millions and millions of members, it would become entrenched in the required beaurocracy for such an immense force
Well, firstly, I only mentioned "millions" in the context of potential recruits, not in the actual number we'd have to accept into the program. We could be choosy about the selections process.
Secondly, the military is already a significant political force. We've got a Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, National Security Council and a Secretary for Veterans' Affairs already; we had many votes cast overseas affect the election results. It's nothing new. In this case, we'd be inviting a whole bunch of people, many of whom already live here and work here, to particpate in the electoral process after having proven they're also willing to fight for the country. I don't see a problem with that.

quote:
and it would allow the neo-cons to launch new imperialistic wars all over the place.
After 4 years of War and Death I have no doubt that if Bush were given a million-man army he would immediately invade Iran and Syria.

I get the feeling that this is your REAL fear, after all.
We certainly wouldn't want a repeat of Iraq or Afghanistan. That would be a real disaster.
-=-=-=-=-=-
Slander Monkey -
quote:
WarrsawPact, super-debater or super-villain?
True?

quote:
Rationally twisted, twistedly rational... I don't know but I just got a vision of what the President might say at the first "service-earned citizenship" graduation:

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you for the first time ever, first generation American citizens who are already deeply cynical about their chosen land and government.

Suspicion of authority, having borne the weight of service to the country, would be healthy.

quote:
I'm all for offering citizenship if we allow non-citizens to serve -- it seems only right, but batman's underpants, let's at least discuss the real reasons why we would need to fill the ranks with non-citizens before we start up the program.
Excellent. I agree. Let's.

quote:
If we look at the military as a plain old extension of our foreign policy (which is mighty popular these days), then it seems almost irrelevant who serves in the military -- fill the ranks with autonomous assasin robots, if you want. They are our can of whoopass that we can open up when and where we want.
Well, we're working on the killer robots. In the meantime, I'd agree that the military is for the advancement of American interests. We pay for it, we serve in it, we don't want to start getting serious about foreign policy when it becomes necessary to snipe from the rubble of our cities or when some critical resource suddenly is taken hostage -- open shipping lanes, for example.

So we support this magnificently expensive Navy that has more combat power than every other navy combined. Just one example.

So I disagree when you say, "But I think if you ask the average American (i.e. most Americans) what the purpose of the military is, they would say that it is simply there to protect us from threats abroad."
Because our reach extends further than our grasp, "us" means "us and our interests and our allies to whom we have extended our protective umbrella," because our security -- and indeed the security of the society of states that makes our lives and lifestyles possible -- depends on it. The spread of our language, our culture and values, our economic and diplomatic influence, all makes us safer. We take it for granted just how much more secure we are because of these. As Bush amazingly was able to say eloquently and succinctly:
quote:
We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

No Edmund Burke is he. But that bolded sentence hits hard.

quote:
And as rational as it is to use the military as a foreign policy lever, I think that the more it's used, the sooner the [populace] will choose to assert that it shouldn't be.
You may be right. I take America today as an example.
Success stories tend to diminish that aspect, though. How many people dislike this war we're fighting now more because of the stress it places on the "backdoor drafted" soldiers or because they think the war is hopeless because we have too few soldiers to secure the peace (more an issue before the election there than afterwards, but still)?

quote:
The thing that I can't figure out, though, is why there are people who will use all possible words to describe the seriousness of the current threat, and the lack of troops, and yet not find it serious enough to join up themselves. Perhaps they're all too old to fight, but not too old to talk, I don't know. I personally find it hard to justify support for a war, without also feeling a duty to serve -- as reasonable a pivot as any, I think.
As I've said on other threads -- maybe you feel peace in the city you live in is absolutely critical, but you're not the kind of guy who is hopping off to join the police academy. Maybe you support the fire department, but feel no obligation to go sign up and train.
You'll pay taxes gladly to support and equip them; you'll show respect to the officers and firefighters; you'll even donate a little extra money; you might even support candidates they support in elections. But you've also got your life, which they voluntarily risk their lives to ensure you can live as you wish.
If you're looking forward to a great career that will serve you and your family and your country better than holding a rifle, not too many soldiers are going to slight you for it. Job satisfaction is pretty darn high in a military that's been called to fight two wars against nasty opponents at roughly the same time -- and the groups that support the war the most are, surprisingly, the people who have seen the most combat. They're often shocked by media coverage of the war at home.

quote:
In my estimation, filling the manpower gap with non-citizens would seem to be just adding one more layer of insulation between us and our actions, and taking us one step closer to becoming a nation without any sense of responsibility. Does it even matter anymore?
I understand what you're saying. We're also a psychological gulf away from the death process, thanks to not having to deal with real live death even of familiar animals all that commonly compared to ages past. But look at how much more we worry about responsibility to the world today than to our own grandchildren! All those distant shores we'll never trod on certainly fill a lot more space in the policy debate than family values or education or where the infrastructure of our country will be in 50 years.

A recent Mallard Fillmore strip captured our relationship with the world rather cleverly. My, how we worry!

quote:
I'm guessing that the public will be very uncomfortable endorsing another war in the near future, and so the point may end up moot... but GWB and associates will undoubtedly try and prove that statement wrong. In any case, I think that using military service as a key to citizenship is not an inherently bad idea... but in the hands of an evil super-villain, well... that's another story.
Evil super-villains are people too. In the meantime, we have a potential solution to a problem with a foreign policy that has netted us a sea change in politics throughout an entire region. It may be necessary to protect our investment if we are to see real change sprout in our favor in the region. What we have is a fragile but very promising momentum.
To not extend it to the people of Iran after promising we will stand with them when they stand up to their terrible government would be to ignore many lessons we've learned even within the same region, not too long ago. To not follow through in supporting a free Lebanon (which may require being especially discriminating in who our bedfellows are) would be similarly hypocritical.

And to ignore the threat to our current forces in Iraq from Syrian and Iranian sources would be truly foolish. I recently posted a link that claims Iran may have 40,000 insurgents in Iraq on their payroll. If even a fraction of that is true... I don't have to do the calculus for you.

[ March 08, 2005, 05:34 AM: Message edited by: WarrsawPact ]

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WarrsawPact
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By the way: an invasion of Syria or Iran may not be necessary or expedient. Time will tell. But if it becomes necessary... I'd prefer to have our options open.

Here's a part of my concern.

[ March 08, 2005, 06:00 AM: Message edited by: WarrsawPact ]

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TomDavidson
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"If it looks stupid, but works, it's not stupid."

But if it looks immoral, but works, it's still immoral.

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Locus
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Incidentally which branch of the armed forces are you in Warsaw?
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FIJC
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quote:
"I'm all for offering citizenship if we allow non-citizens to serve -- it seems only right, but batman's underpants, let's at least discuss the real reasons why we would need to fill the ranks with non-citizens before we start up the program."
Hey, I am all for offering citizenship to those illegal immigrants who are already being productive members of American society. I am not totally against the idea of offering citizenship to those willing to join the military, but am concerned that it may become too arbitrary.
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Adam Masterman
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Slander Monkey, you hit this one right on the head. With our current volunteer army, we have a sort of natural failsafe against unchecked aggression: if the american people don't want to invade countless countries, they won't sign up to do it. To the chagrin of the neocons, this is exactly what is happening. Suddenly, a plan to purchase cannon fodder with citizenship? Warrsaw, the frightening thing about you is that you would feel perfectly justified in your hawkishness even if no one agreed with you. And you still expect others to do the fighting and the dying. Out of respect for the forum rules, I won't call you the c-word, but its the natural conclusion here. If your own life is too valuable to risk on this war you seem to love, what does that say about how you view the soldiers who do fight? No amount of expressed gratitude makes up for the fact that you consider them expendable but not yourself.
Adam

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TomDavidson
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Me, I'm also more than a little nervous about letting citizens of foreign countries sign up for our military adventures under the American flag. There are numerous downsides to this -- from espionage to culture clash -- that I think would dramatically reduce military efficiency.
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Everard
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"and the groups that support the war the most are, surprisingly, the people who have seen the most combat."

This was also true of Vietnam, and Korea. It means nothing, in terms of the morality or justness or necessity of a particular war. Veterans are almost always supportive of wars abroad, more then the general populace.

As mentioned, this really didn't work out for Rome. Using foreign soldiers has NEVER worked. To think it will work now, is either arrogance or foolishness. Eventually, using foreign soldiers backfires. At the time, Rome was basically the United States in world affairs. That didn't stop soldiers from going home and training their tribes in the tactics the romans used.

The only reason to use foreign soldiers in our wars, is if the government wants to wage more wars then the population will support. If we're waging more wars of agression then the population will support, we are a tyranny.

None of the "invasions on the table" are crucial to our security. Bush may have tried to sell "freedom worldwide" as essential to our security, but saying it doesn't make it true. We'll ALWAYS be vulnerable to attacks, there's no such thing as a 100% secure nation, and there isn't really a good reason to believe that invading syria or iran will make us more secure. Are these regimes hostile to us? Yes. But that doesn't make an invasion necessary, nor would one make us notably more secure. If the fear is of regimes that are hostile to us, we must remember that every war of aggression will create more hostility towards us, to some extent or another. From the standpoint warsaw brought up a ways back, if the number of enemies created is greater then the number killed, we're losing. If we start utilizing foreign soldiers to wage more wars of aggression, how likely is it that we will kill more enemies then we create? If we take such a path, how likely is it that Europe will remain friendly? Or Brazil? Its not very likely at all, and eventually, those nations will become enemies, thus undoing any good we MIGHT do in the middle east (and its debatable that any good would be done, from a national security standpoint, since Syria, for example, is extremely low risk).

" The spread of our language, our culture and values, our economic and diplomatic influence, all makes us safer."

But the spread of warfare does not, and, ultimately, the reason for using foreign soldiers is because we've spread war further then we can support, and thus, our safety and security and way of life are compromised.

Incidentally, Warsaw, you're extremely intelligent, and extremely fun to read on ornery, but I hope for the sake of our nation you fail in your life goals.

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OhPuhLeez
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And gee, if we're REALLY lucky, most of them will be killed off in battle and we won't ever have to make good on the citizenship part - never have to spend a dime except on military costs.

WOW!

[Roll Eyes]

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kenmeer livermaile
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quote:
Here's the proposed solution:
You fight for us, and we'll make you a US citizen.

I'm awestruck at the sweeping scope of this proposal. It's either the best or worst idea I've heard in a longt gtime. Either way, it's immensely PROFOUND.

Where it would go in a few decades' course is interesting...

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kenmeer livermaile
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quote:
If it looks stupid, but works, it's not stupid.
An excellent maxim. I name it Murphy's Revenge.
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KnightEnder
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OPL,

Isn't that what we did to the Irish in the Civil War?

Since no one would answer my question I answered it myself. At least in the Army you have to be younger than 34. That leaves me out. I think I'll try the Air Force.

KE

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OhPuhLeez
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quote:
Isn't that what we did to the Irish in the Civil War?
Is it? I'm admittedly woefully pathetic in my American History - any links to this subject or info would be much appreciated, KE.

One would think we'd have found a better way, after more than 100 years.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I think something like this also happened to the oarsmen of the trireme ships that won the pivotal battle at Salamis in GTreece longt agto. I don't know if they were PROMISED citizenship (I know VERY little on this) but I understand that their invaluable service in that war at least paved the way to giving landless grunts like them something like real citizenship in Greece of the time.

I'm VERY sketchy on details, so caveat emptor...

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OhPuhLeez
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KL - you effing KILL me! [Big Grin] !!
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kenmeer livermaile
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"KL - you effing KILL me!"

I'm stupid, but I work...

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The Drake
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I would go for ANY policy that involves voluntary service before supporting conscription. This citizenship plan sounds somewhat reasonable. Others make a good point, however, that we should really do our best to avoid needing any additional troops for a while. Wait for the droids to be ready.
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A. Alzabo
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quote:
I think something like this also happened to the oarsmen of the trireme ships that won the pivotal battle at Salamis in GTreece longt agto.
We could always do the Spartan thing... promise folks citizenship if they fight for us (the Spartans just promised freedom), then kill 'em all when the fighting's done.
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Haggis
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Maybe I'm just a little paranoid, but this seems like it would be a prime opportunity for a terrorist group to infiltrate the U.S. military.

Think of the damage just one terrorist in the right position could do. Now I know it sounds far-fetched, but who would have thought of using planes as bombs before 9/11?

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Grendel
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Sorry, Warswaw - I still prefer RA Heinlein's idea better: Live in America and you are an American; volunteer for public service (not necessarily military, but they have the most "open slots") and you become a Citizen. Only citizens can vote and run for public office. (That would also tend to address the plutocracy issue that has been brought up on other threads.)

KE:
quote:
Sounds good to me. What's the age limit for joining the Army?
It used to be 28 for a first enlistment (without waiver), back in the 80s/90s. I don't know if it still is.
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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Maybe I'm just a little paranoid, but this seems like it would be a prime opportunity for a terrorist group to infiltrate the U.S. military.

My take on this is that the fitness screening for foreign troops would have to be so stringent that I don't think we could process the numbers to make Boot's "millions" plan to work, though I think we could "fill in" our military this way.

I can see good and bad parts of this. Maybe we could offer citizenship to people who fight for us only in the places we invade? This is more than a little imperial, however...

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EvanWeeks
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quote:
Originally posted by Grendel:

KE:
quote:
Sounds good to me. What's the age limit for joining the Army?
It used to be 28 for a first enlistment (without waiver), back in the 80s/90s. I don't know if it still is.
From the US Army Recruitment site: Linky

These basic qualifications for enlistment in the U.S. Army include:

* be between the ages or 17 and 34
* be a U.S. Citizen or resident alien, (must have the I-551)
* have a high school diploma or equivalent (such as a GED) (Now Waived)
* be single with no children or married with 2 or less children
* pass the ASVAB test
* pass the physical

In addition to the above qualifications you should not be undergoing any civil actions. Also, there are some legal violations that will disqualify an individual.

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flydye45
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Loki:
quote:
I do not wish to take responsibility for this government, nor any government for nearly the last 100 years. We need something more, something better, perhaps if we had that, I would serve and take responsibility for that government, and earn myself the vote.
I have found the government you would willingly support. It is between "Perfect" (on the Walgreen's commercials) and Utopia. If you want a real world government, please point out a better one right now. And if you CAN name one, why not go there? This isn't "America, love it or leave it"; it is "Go where you are comfortable". Johnny Depp did it.

But that dismisses the issue of defense and subordination.

If you "love" your country, why are not more Americans serving in the military. The cautions some of the more historically minded on this forum about Rome strike against them. If the Mexicans are the Goths come to subvert our nation, does that not make them the effete degenerates who aren't willing to serve themselves because "I have better things to do", or "I won't fight (blank's) war", or "I am too old now" (but when younger, where were you?). For his other flaws, at least Warsaw pays the vice that virtue requires. And yes, I have served and continue to serve the nation.

Hmm, orgies, obesity, intellectual snobbery, effete men, strange religions from the East. Nope, no parallells to Rome. Hopefully I'll be dead by the time the end comes.

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TomDavidson
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"For his other flaws, at least Warsaw pays the vice that virtue requires. And yes, I have served and continue to serve the nation."

Ah. See, I thoroughly reject the argument that an armed force is necessary for the existence of this country, its defense, or its improvement. Any lawyer does as much good for America as any single soldier.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Hmm, orgies, obesity, intellectual snobbery, effete men, strange religions from the East. Nope, no parallells to Rome
Next thing you know, Christianity will become the state religion!
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