Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fighting for Citizenship: Max Boot, a McCain adviser, thinks the Secretary of Defense should offer US citizenship to anyone willing to serve in the US military--and he says this policy would not even need further Congressional authorization (e.a.):
I think this [the DREAM Act] a good piece of legislation that takes a major step toward one of my dreams: to offer American citizenship to anyone anywhere in the world willing to serve in the American armed forces. This would vastly broaden our recruiting base, allowing the armed forces to sign up all sorts of talented people who are currently prohibited from joining. They would, of course, have to pass background investigations and meet all existing criteria for military service, including English-language proficiency.

I’ve been advocating this idea for several years, and even though it’s not currently possible, I’ve gotten emails from Canadians, Chinese, Dutch, and other foreigners wanting to sign up for our armed forces. All it would take to make their dreams a reality would be for the Secretary of Defense to certify that enlisting them is in the national interest. Legislation isn’t required, although that’s another way this objective could be achieved.

Boot proposes the idea of a "freedom legion" completely comprised of foreigner-soldiers:

I have also suggested that we might want to have a Freedom Legion modeled on the French Foreign Legion, whose enlisted ranks would be composed entirely of foreigners but which would be led by American officers and NCOs. Such a Freedom Legion could be very useful for integrating the sort of language and linguistic skills lacking in our military, and it could be used for longterm garrison duty in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

This Boston Globe story has more on the debate about actively recruiting non-citizens to serve in the US military.
As I mentioned above, Boot's advising McCain on foreign policy--and McCain conveniently missed the vote on the DREAM Act even though he was there to vote on the Southwick nomination barely an hour before. Do Boot's views reflect McCain's on foreign military service?