Max Boot and Michael O'Hanlon have co-authored an op-ed for the Washinton Post of the "kill two kill birds with one stone" genre, arguing that the U.S. should offer a military path to citizenship, thus addressing both the immigration issue and armed forces recruitment problems. (The article mainly focuses on addressing the latter, and doesn't suggest that it will solve the former, only that "it could provide a new path toward assimilation for undocumented immigrants…")
The biggest problem I had with their piece was this argument:
Not only would immigrants provide a valuable influx of highly motivated soldiers, they would also address one of
America's key deficiencies in the battle against Islamist extremists: our lack of knowledge of the languages and mores in the lands where terrorists reside. Newly arrived Americans can help us avoid trampling on local sensitivities and thereby creating more enemies than we eliminate.
That means that they want us to recruit Arabic-speaking soldiers from the
Uh, well, not exactly:
Since proficiency in English would presumably be important for those joining the armed forces, we might focus on
South Asia, anglophone Africa, and parts of Latin America, Europe and East Asia (the Philippines would be a natural recruiting ground) where English is common as a second language….
Screening would have to be done to ensure that would-be terrorists did not gain access to the armed forces through this program. That might complicate the process of recruiting from certain countries, especially in the
Middle East, but it would hardly put a huge dent in the likely applicant pool.
So, there you have it. Latin American immigrants speaking Spanish and Tagalog-speaking Filipinos have "knowledge of the languages and mores in the lands where terrorists reside."
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