I was inspired by an editorial in the Washington Times yesterday to write this to their editorial page. Another example which I omitted for reason of available space was that of the Philippine Scouts regiments of the pre-World War Two US establishment in the islands. These were US Army Regular units manned with Filipino soldiers (who were enlisted as foreign) and led by a mixture of US and Filipino (naturalized to US) sergeants and officers. As usual, one of the main enducements to enlistments was the promise of US citizenship after an initial term of service.
These men served very well.
"Letters to the Editor
October 24, 2006
In service to America
The subject of recruiting foreign nationals for the U.S. armed forces is now being considered because of increasing pressure on existing U.S. military manpower ("The Lafayette brigades," Editorial, yesterday).
What seems to get lost in the discussion is the historical fact that the United States has often recruited foreigners to make up for shortfalls in citizen recruiting.
During the American Civil War, tens of thousands of Irish and English were recruited on British soil, put on American flag ships and then sworn into U.S. services when at sea.
In 1951, Congress passed the Lodge Act which specifically authorized the recruitment of non-U.S. persons from Eastern Europe for the purpose of manning U.S. Special Forces.
At any given time there are 35,000 to 50,000 foreigners in the armed forces who were recruited within the United States.
All of these soldiers were and are promised U.S. citizenship in return for faithful service.
Hardly anyone in the United States favors a return to the draft. Foreign recruiting is a partial answer to our present problems in recruiting as it was in the past.
W. PATRICK LANG