Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses...

Because we are trying to fight a war and we really, really need them for our army.

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 putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials.
Foreign citizens serving in the US 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.
Ah... yes. You mean like this lot.

The proposal to induct more noncitizens, which is still largely on the drawing board, has to clear a number of hurdles. So far, the Pentagon has been quiet about specifics -- including who would be eligible to join, where the recruiting stations would be, and what the minimum standards might involve, including English proficiency. In the meantime, the Pentagon and immigration authorities have expanded a program that accelerates citizenship for legal residents who volunteer for the military.
Minimum standards? Why? Cannon-fodder doesn't need to meet a minimum standard. And you can bet that recruiting stations in foreign countries aren't going to be set up anywhere in the G8.

It's not like other countries haven't had trouble recruiting armies when unpopular wars were being fought. In fact, Charles II of England had a solution similar to what is being proposed in the Pentagon.

Overseas service was loathed, however, and whenever possible expendable Irish and Scots were used in preference to native-born Englishmen.
Why, that's a 400 year-old historical precedence on which to draw!

Why not do it properly though. If the US military is going to imitate the Roman Empire at least provide all the appropriate citizenship enticements.

Yessir, this looks like the answer. Any route around that nasty thing called a "draft". Volunteers, desperate to find a better existence, will risk their lives so the cowards bed-wetting pansies too well educated and too wealthy to enlist war-boosters who are already citizens, like the College Republicans, who own the quagmire in Iraq, don't have to do that, y'know, yucky enlistment thing. Why the very idea makes the average American-born chickenhawk downright squemish. Better to send foreign brown people.

There are some other ideas dating back to the 1600s which the Pentagon might like to review.

To find the large numbers of men required, other methods were resorted to: capital offenders were offered enlistment as an alternative to the gallows, vagrants and unemployed persons were impressed and debtors could obtain release from prison if they enlisted or found a substitute. Many men were reluctant to enlist for life, so a short-term enlistment of only three years was introduced, and this helped ease the problem somewhat. Such unwilling and criminal material seems unpromising material for an army, many of them only kept to their duty by fear of the lash and gallows. But it was with men such as these that the Duke of Marlborough won his many victories against the French, and brought Louis XIV's vaunted legions to their knees.
And, there was a time when financial inducements used to work.

Here's forty shillings on the drum
For those that volunteer to come
With shirts and clothes and present pay
When over the hills and far away
Sad really.

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