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Le Legion Etrangere d'Americain

For some time, I have argued that two of our problems of today are ready-made to solve each other -- keeping up our levels of military recruits, and the deluge of illegal aliens. I don't know where I first heard the idea, but I've always liked the proposal of setting up an "American Foreign Legion" within our military.

The idea is simple: aliens -- both legal and illegal -- can enlist in this Legion and serve this nation. After a certain period of time -- say, three years -- they can then apply for citizenship, and have their application fast-tracked. And yes, there would be exceptions for those wounded in service, and immediate family members would be given preferential treatment for those who died in the line of duty.

This would be a great idea. We would have access to a ready pool of potential service members who are willing to prove their commitment to this country -- and in a couple of years, a bunch of new citizens who have already shown their dedication.

It's not a complete solution to either problem, but it would certainly help a great deal.

Well, it turns out that others have had the same idea -- and are pushing for it.

Here's hoping that when the immigration bill rises from its grave yet again, this provision stays in. It's one of the rarest things in Washington, DC -- something that just oozes common sense.


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Comments (28)

Towards the end of the Roma... (Below threshold)
Colorado KnightOwl:

Towards the end of the Roman Empire, when the Roman citizens were unwilling to enter the legion and fight for their own country - they started bringing in foreigners and then started actually hiring the "barbarians" to fight for them. Read the Fall of Rome.

When we can't find enough Americans who want to fight for America - then it is over...

I am not saying your plan is a bad one, just that it is the beginning of the end.

And the language of this "f... (Below threshold)
twolaneflash:

And the language of this "foreign legion" would be...?

Knightowl -My feel... (Below threshold)
Actual:

Knightowl -

My feelings exactly. I was going to make the same comment but you beat me to it.

Great idea -- a bunch of ne... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Great idea -- a bunch of new citizens with weapons training and PTSD.

I'll third that Rome commen... (Below threshold)
SATerp:

I'll third that Rome comment. It has a bad precedent in the Roman Empire. Train and arm those who don't have any real attachment to the country? No, thanks.

KnightOwl is correct. If i... (Below threshold)
Puck:

KnightOwl is correct. If it's our war - why shouldn't we fight it? If it isn't, why are we there?

Our nation isn't at war - our government is. Our nation is too busy at the mall.


In the french foreign legio... (Below threshold)
David:

In the french foreign legion the language is French period.

So in an American Foreign Legion it would be English period.

I recommend 6 years or three years if deployed in combat.

By the way, the ROman Republic employed foreign auxillaries, a good 700 years before Rome itself was conquered.

Fighting terrorists (no mat... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

Fighting terrorists (no matter who it is) is the world's war. If it isn't, it soon will be.

I came here to mention the ... (Below threshold)
Lloyd:

I came here to mention the Visigoths. I'm glad I'm not alone in objecting to this idea. It's one thing to experiment with something new. It's another thing altogether to call for something that has already failed. It makes you sound like a Democrat...

The French Foreign Legion worked [to the extent it did] because the language was mandatory French, the enlistment was a long one and citizenship was offered at the end of the enlistment, not fast-tracked.

A choice between what Rome did and what France did. Yow ...

And then we could have the ... (Below threshold)
Kasper Hauser:

And then we could have the Legion invade Mexico and the occupy it.....forever.


And John McCain says we don't offer any solutions!

Well, for example, they mig... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Well, for example, they might be able to do certain non - security critical national guard jobs, thus freeing up those National guards for other things. .and Yes Colorado and Kasper, I realize that anything short of rounding them up and stuffing every single one in a train and shipping them out immediately will be viewed by you as the end of civilization as we know it.

Yes Colorado and Kasper, I ... (Below threshold)
Colorado KnightOwl:

Yes Colorado and Kasper, I realize that anything short of rounding them up and stuffing every single one in a train and shipping them out immediately will be viewed by you as the end of civilization as we know it.
Posted by: Ryan

Actually if we just do workplace enforcement and cut out all the government aid...free schooling,medical,foodstamps etc...most of them will leave on their own.
The only ones that need to be rounded up and deported are the illegals that have been convicted of other crimes...we need to make sure they go..

Faaaaagh.This "ref... (Below threshold)
Ric Locke:

Faaaaagh.

This "reform" is already in place, at least as regards legal aliens. Noncitizens who join the military get their waiting period shortened from eighteen to five years, the period of military service counts, and if they are significantly decorated citizenship is almost automatically immediate. They still have to meet the standards for recruitment -- and that's the rub: there's no way anyone can have the grades and test results necessary to join nowadays without being fluent in English. The modern Army doesn't want, and can't use, people who can't make that grade.

This proposal breaks on the same rock as the "universal service" notion, that is, it's a great idea until you start looking at the details. What would such people do? Eisenhower sent the National Guard to integrate the University of Arkansas... I trust the American military. I do not trust their civilian directors nowadays, for the most part. Handing a Legion Etrangere over to President Hillary strikes me as suicide for the Republic.

I'll add my agreement with ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

I'll add my agreement with NightOwl. If we don't have enough support for our policies within our own citizenship to fill the ranks of the military, we need to change the policy, not create an army of mercenaries.

The real problem isn't fill... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

The real problem isn't filling the military.

Its the morale on the homefront.

After being inundated with Abu Garib, Haditha, and daily (if not hourly) US troop death counts public morale was deliberately eroded by most of the Media. And we have a President inept at countering that mantra on any level to any degree.

It was done under Reagan, but those engagements were so short, they were over before they began.

It was done during the First Gulf War, but we so ridiculously overwhelmed them the Media couldn't get traction and quickly gave up.

The purpose of the AFL is n... (Below threshold)
Kristian:

The purpose of the AFL is not do a job that Americans don't, but rather give give the aliens a 'price' they can pay that is worth something to America. And after honorable service in the AFL, I for one, would not have any reservations offering citizenship benefits.

But I think the service ought to be like 10 years, so that the first year or two can include the necessary training / instruction on America, it's language, history and military discipline to be effective in battle.

No more blood for citizensh... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

No more blood for citizenship!

This is not your father's o... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

This is not your father's oldsmobile.

Military systems are advanced and technical, requiring the operators to be educated and fluent in communications.

The legion would become, for many, another free service - English school. For those fluent, they can already join.

It's a bad sign when you pi... (Below threshold)

It's a bad sign when you pick a FRENCH name for it ...

My grandfather earned his A... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

My grandfather earned his American citizenship by volunteering for service in World War I (He was a non-citizen so he could not be drafted.)

He fought in the Buckeye Division, seeing action in the Argonne. He earned a Purple Heart as a scout.

Actual Ryan, I support amne... (Below threshold)
Kasper Hauser:

Actual Ryan, I support amnesty for non-felons and non-absconders AFTER a reasonable attempt has been made to secure the border.

But that won't happen and, instead, the Union will disolve.

There are non-citizens in o... (Below threshold)

There are non-citizens in our military. I have no idea what the rules are for who qualifies and who doesn't. When I traveled to basic training 16 or so years ago I was the only one in our group of five who was a US citizen. The male recruits all had grandparents who fought for the US in WW2 and the other female recruit had been born in the US while her father taught University here.

That said, we really aren't having that much trouble with recruiting. Sure, it's tight. But tight just means that as many people who *want* to join can't be summarily disqualified as could be before. The requirements were always set as high as could be to limit recruitment to the target number of recruits.

I do think that allowing non-citizens to join our military is a good idea, but right along with everyone else, not in a separate "legion."

Jeff said:>>No more ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Jeff said:
>>No more blood for citizenship!

Robert Heinlein would strongly disagree. And I think he makes a pretty good case for it in Starship Troopers.

Non-citizens can already jo... (Below threshold)
Cletus:

Non-citizens can already join the US military.. and they get special consideration for citizenship. No special unit is needed, this is already happening. (I retired 1 Mar 07 after over 20 years in the AF, I know this to be true.)

We also need a "don't ask, ... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

We also need a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for those 'illegals' joining the military that can't speak English fluently.... ROFLLLL

Doing the job Americans won... (Below threshold)
kim:

Doing the job Americans won't do any longer; learning English.
=====================================

Rome's economy can be track... (Below threshold)

Rome's economy can be tracked by measuring the lead content of ice cores in nearby Scandinavia. Those cores show that Rome's GDP (and probably other measures of its power) was well down from its peak even before Valens invited in the Visigoths.

Come, come, come. Scandina... (Below threshold)
kim:

Come, come, come. Scandinavia is right next door to Troy. So say ze sagacious.
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