Does America Need a Foreign Legion?

Since the beginning of the US military campaign in Iraq and Afghanistan, about a thousand foreign citizens serving in the US army have received the citizenship of this country. At the same time, about 300 foreigners took the oath of allegiance to the American flag in Baghdad alone, and in total since 2003, when the United States army entered Iraq, American citizenship has been granted to more than 1200 American soldiers who were previously citizens of other states.

True, the “paperless” are guaranteed not to be sent to serve either in Hawaii or in Italy – only “hot spots” such as Iraq and Afghanistan are intended for them. Recruiters for the US Army immediately make it clear to potential foreign recruits that they will need to risk their own lives and, if necessary, go to their deaths to obtain an American passport.

In this case, the hero of America can not only be posthumously given American citizenship, but also grant the same citizenship to his wife, children and parents. Only in Iraq at the moment are immigrants from such exotic countries as Jamaica, Uruguay, Morocco, Fiji, Lesotho and even Papua New Guinea serving in the ranks of the US armed forces. All of these people enlisted in the American military with the goal of making good money and becoming legally American citizens. There is a procedure according to which, if a foreign soldier applies for American citizenship, and then died, his case is considered positively and posthumously, such a hero is immediately granted US citizenship.

I would like to note that this practice of granting citizenship of a country in exchange for a “funeral” to relatives and friends, as well as for service in “hot spots” is not a purely American invention. This is practiced in many countries, but the United States Army did not spoil its servicemen with such “carrots” before.

And on a legislative basis, the practice of inviting to serve America in exchange for citizenship has not yet been developed. At the very beginning of the Iraqi campaign, the then US President George W. Bush signed an executive order that canceled the three-year waiting period for applying for American citizenship for conscripts who ended up there after September 11, 2001.

Since then, the total number of foreign military personnel in the US military has grown from 19,000 to 39,000. The United States Congress has already passed a law that exempts Pentagon conscripts from the $ 575 fee to apply for United States citizenship, and allows soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to take an oath of allegiance to America at their duty station rather than on the ground. USA.

And yet, according to experts from the Pentagon, today there are not so many who want to fight for the United States with an external enemy. At the same time, fewer and fewer Americans believe that fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan can prevent international terrorists from attacking their country. So the Pentagon’s conscription services are having difficulty “scraping together” the required number of volunteers in the country’s armed forces. And the Pentagon has repeatedly raised the issue of creating a kind of “foreign legion” to serve in the “hot spots” of the planet.

Meanwhile, a number of generals in the US Department of Defense have expressed serious doubts about the increase in the number of foreigners in combat units of the United States army. In their opinion, this process leads to the loss of the sense of military brotherhood and patriotism that is inherent in troops consisting of American citizens.

True, according to American experts who monitor the behavior of American non-citizen servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is those who hope to receive an American passport that show real heroism on the battlefield, demonstrate good training, courage and strict observance of command orders.

There are no problems with foreigners in terms of the ideological postulates that are instilled in American citizens from childhood. Another question is which way, if we are to create a “foreign legion”, America should go. The example of France in this regard is very indicative, but it is far from the fact that the US leadership will follow the same path. As you know, the French Foreign Legion is formed exclusively from foreigners to carry out essentially police and punitive missions outside the borders of the metropolis.

In the USA, however, they believe that there can be no talk of any “punitive units” of foreigners. If we are to form something like a “foreign legion”, then only for service in the “hot spots” of the planet, and not for overthrowing the governments of countries unwanted by America.

The American generals themselves are of the opinion that if we talk about an increase in the number of foreign servicemen in the US Army, then we can only talk about their incorporation into the ranks of regular units in service, but not a separate “foreign team”.

How Americans are taught to love the army

Americans army

One of the most important pillars of US reputation (at least domestically) is the American army. How does a gigantic propaganda machine make Americans admire their armed forces? What actually face those who decide to enter military service in order to bring the light of “freedom and democracy” on the planet?
Americans admire their army like no other government institution. Over the past two decades, respect for the courts, schools, the press, Congress, religion, big business, and virtually all other major systemic institutions has declined. The only exceptions are the military.

In opinion polls at the Gallup Institute, at least three-quarters of Americans regularly express their approval of the US military.
Put on a man’s military uniform, give him a weapon, and they will worship him, despite the fact that today no more than 1% of the US population intersects with the army. FROM

Among the Americans, a somewhat infantile idea of ​​almost all military or police officers as being necessarily “heroes” is widespread.
How is such an opinion formed, so atypical for Russia, where the Armed Forces only in recent years began to enjoy respect and authority after a long period of humiliation?
That’s how. For example, in the United States, one rarely can hear a politician or a public person who dares to openly criticize the US military. Although specific military conflicts within the United States can be harshly condemned, nevertheless, such criticism will always be accompanied by a remark that the applicant “supports our troops”. It is reported by Rambler.

Arriving at the service, a rookie in the US Army is faced with racism, hazing, sexual harassment, and suicide. According to statistics, the level of suicide among US troops doubled between 1999-2016. For example, last year, the Marine Corps reported the highest suicide rates in its ranks for a decade. According to a recent Pentagon biennial report, the number of sexual crimes in the US Army has increased by 38% compared to 2016. Meanwhile, 40% of non-white soldiers admit that they encounter manifestations of racial intolerance in the army. Former military personnel bring ruined mental and physical health to civilians. It is known that on average 22 veterans end their lives every day in the United States, often they do it right in the parking lots and in the emergency rooms of medical facilities of the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

American Foreign Legion

On July 4, the day of the celebration of the 231st anniversary of the independence of the United States, about 600 US troops stationed in Iraq signed new contracts with the Pentagon. Moreover, many of them have already spent two or three terms in the combat zone. What is the reason that encourages people to risk their lives?


The answer to this question is probably given by the event also on July 4: several ceremonies of swearing in new US citizens took place in Iraq. 325 soldiers of the American army uttered words of loyalty to the country for whose interests they are fighting, vowing to “support and protect the Constitution and laws of the United States of America from their enemies.” 161 serviceman gained the opportunity to call himself a full-fledged American in Baghdad, in the marbled hall of the former palace of Saddam Hussein Al-Faw. Since the beginning of the conflict in Iraq, over 1,200 GIs of foreign origin have become US passport holders.

American Foreign Legion

Commander of the US military contingent in Iraq, General David Petraeus, addressing his new fellow citizens, said: “You made the decision, just like your comrades in arms, to sacrifice your life for the sake of defending the freedom of a country that you couldn’t fully call your own, and I consider it’s a great honor for me to fight for this just cause with you. ” And then the military leader deemed it necessary to emphasize: “No awards and bonuses, regardless of their status and size, will be able to become compensation for the contribution that each of you standing on the defense of our nation has made and continues to make in its defense.”

General Petraeus announced to the audience that the ceremony is dedicated to the memory of Sergeant Kimelle Watt, born in Jamaica, and Corporal Farid Elazzo, Moroccan. They died in early June, without waiting for American citizenship. But surely they will be awarded this honor posthumously, as Corporals José Gutierrez and José Garibei, who were killed in the first days of the war in Iraq.

Numerous guests arrived at the celebration of Independence Day in Baghdad, who settled down on the balconies and staircases of the palace of the executed dictator. Among them were senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham who had flown specially to the Iraqi capital. They congratulated the servicemen, who earned the title of US citizen with their own blood and blood of others, and in their own way complained about all the difficulties that soldiers had to experience in Iraq’s unpopular Iraqi strada.

“As you know, the war you are fighting on has divided the American people. But she did not share the Americans in admiration for you. We are all proud of you, ”said McCain.

By the way, the reputation of the senator, actively advocating the continuation of the military campaign in Iraq after more than half of the Americans began to take a negative attitude to this White House action, turned out to be greatly tarnished. According to a survey conducted by the research company Opinion Research, McCain is one of the last places in the 2008 presidential candidates ’race.