Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The American Foreign Legion?

Foreign nationals already serve in our country's armed forces, but the Boston Globe reports that plans to enlarge the military have forced Pentagon officials to consider expanding the allotment of foreign nationals, inducting illegals for the first time, and even -- get this -- opening recruiting offices in foreign countries.

I don't have any doubt that foreigners would make fine U.S. soldiers. In the thick of battle soldiers are usually fighting for their buddies in the foxhole with them, not any abstract concept of patriotism. But a move like this smacks of hiring mercenaries, and worse, exploiting them as cannon fodder. These people would be risking their lives in order to have an opportunity to earn a living in the U.S. Now I suppose this would be their choice, but internationally it would be a public relations disaster. We would be delegitimized: the world would hear our leaders rage about wrongs that our people would not risk righting themselves.

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