By Max Boot (Los Angeles Times)
Well, somebody's gotta serve. Jonah Goldberg (here and here) doesn't think it should be him because he's over 30, a father, and has a sorry ass (a big sorry ass). And now the clever Max Boot, who apparently thinks he shouldn't have to serve either, has come up with a cunning plan.
Some experts are already starting to wonder whether the war on terrorism might break the all-volunteer military. But because reinstating the draft isn't a serious option (the House defeated a symbolic draft bill last year, 402 to 2), some outside-the-box thinking is needed to fill up the ranks. In this regard, I note that there is a pretty big pool of manpower that's not being tapped: everyone on the planet who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
It's a concept not unfamiliar to the upper and upper-middle classes of America: hired help. Especially economically disadvantaged hired help.
The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones and, as important, to untold numbers of young men and women who are not here now but would like to come. No doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period in return for one of the world's most precious commodities — U.S. citizenship. Open up recruiting stations from Budapest to Bangkok, Cape Town to Cairo, Montreal to Mexico City.Montreal? Really? That's a bit of a stretch.
Call it the Freedom Legion. As its name implies, this unit would be modeled on the French Foreign Legion, except, again, U.S. citizenship would be part of the "pay." And rather than fighting for U.S. security writ small — the way the Foreign Legion fights for the glory of France — it would have as its mission defending and advancing freedom across the world. It would be, in effect, a multinational force under U.S. command — but one that wouldn't require the permission of France, Germany or the United Nations to deploy.So to screw the French, the Germans, and the UN -- and, not incidentally, to keep Jonah Goldberg and Max Boot safe and overly well fed -- Max Boot, student of history, recommends America form its own multinational forces using the one thing it hasn't yet overleveraged in the world market: the promise of US citizenship.
*Jonah Goldberg concept via Miss Authoritiva.