July 23, 2017

Popular Mechanics, you're doing it wrong

I like reading Popular Mechanics - for the mechanics, not the politics.  There's an article there arguing - get this - in favor of foreign born recruits in the military in exchange for citizenship.  Setting aside the fact that a foreign militia is correlated to the downfall of the Roman empire, the case is pretty flimsy;
Let's make this very clear: Our nation has always needed foreign-born recruits. First, because we are an entire nation of immigrants, so much so that at some points in our history entire Corps of our armies (such as the XI-th in the American Civil War) barely spoke English. Second, because once we became a global power, we really had a deep need for cultural and language skills among our forces, not just in the Special Forces, but in Intelligence and other fields as well. We even made laws to entice recent immigrants into service specifically for their native-born skills, but also perhaps for some specialized skills like medicine and dentistry, that they bring with them. And lastly, because if there is a better way to introduce an immigrant to the range of the American melting-pot than service to the nation in uniform, I really don't know what that might be.
In summary (1) we're all immigrants (2) we need cultural and language skills from outside America and (3) it's a great way to integrate foreigners into the American melting pot.


(1) That's a social argument not one that helps the military. What the military needs it combat skills and fighting effectiveness. (2) any skills lacking in American born recruits is an indictment of America's schooling system. Intelligence is another matter - on the ground knowledge, or specialized skills and dialects are useful. But that's not a military issue. Remember president Trump recently had a 'secret meeting' with Vladimir Putin (in front of and among the rest of the G20 leaders) and the media went nuts because the interpreter was a Russian. Sooooo... double standard. And (3) that reason is not the job of the military.

And that's without moving on to other reasons outside of the stated rationale.

Look Popular Mechanics, stick to stories about new engines or advances in rocketry and such. Otherwise you will end up as the ESPN of science magazines/ezines. M'kay?

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