Calling Roman Historians!

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Corlyss_D
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Calling Roman Historians!

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:26 am

Isn't this how Rome staffed its Imperial army?

The green-card brigade
Feb 1st 2007
From The Economist print edition


How to become an American, via Iraq

ON January 11th Robert Gates, the secretary of defence, proposed increasing the size of the army and marines by 92,000 troops over the next five years. Doing so will be a challenge. Recruiters have thought of everything: higher enlistment bonuses, lower standards, turning a blind eye to the tattooed and the overweight. Now, how about focusing on foreigners?

Immigrants have fought in America's armed forces since the country first fielded one. Today, according to the most recent statistics, there are roughly 30,000 non-citizens on active duty and another 11,000 in the reserves. They come from more than 200 countries, with notable contingents from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and El Salvador. Several thousand are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. With very few exceptions, a foreign citizen must have a green card to enlist.

Recruiting non-citizens has clear benefits. Highly motivated soldiers should make dedicated and deserving Americans. And some non-citizens come equipped with useful languages. It takes over a year to teach a soldier Arabic, Pashto, or Dari from scratch. Native speakers can be deployed much more quickly.

These advantages have not gone unnoticed. In 2002 George Bush issued an executive order saying that non-citizen soldiers would in future be eligible to apply for expedited citizenship after serving one day on active duty. Previously, they had to wait several years. Since then, thousands of soldiers have been naturalised, and more than 80 have received posthumous citizenship. The armed forces have tried to bridge the language and culture gaps that can thwart recruitment. During last year's World Cup, for example, the army advertised on Arab Radio and Television.

The idea of recruiting immigrants to serve has its critics. Some argue that these soldiers would, in effect, be mercenaries. Others worry about immigrants taking risks that most Americans avoid. But maybe the current approach does not go far enough. Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations has proposed setting aside the requirement that foreigners hold a green card, and recruiting illegal immigrants as well as foreign citizens overseas. “We're looking to increase the size of our military, and this would be the most practical way to do it in the short run,” he says. And perhaps a way of tackling the immigration problem, at one fell swoop.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:51 am

If I remember correctly, even Gibbon, who was anything but simplistic in his evaluation of the causes of the fall of Rome, did not blame even in part the recruitment of "barbarians." Your lead statement does not jibe with the (correct) main point of the article. I know of no case in which an American in uniform has been found unfit because he did not enlist as an American citizen. I can think of a few famous spies whose bona fide ancestry went back a ways who should be disowned.

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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:27 am

Yes, soon we will have "Legions" in the U.S. Army. As to barabarians, the Army can recruit young people attending contemporary music festivals.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:34 am

Thius site, which will really inform you about the Roman Army, reports that barbarians were not extensively employed in the later Roman Army.

http://members.tripod.com/~S_van_Dorst/legio.html
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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