Monday, July 31, 2006

The Job Americans Won’t Do

There have been some pretty clever takes on the canard of "jobs Americans won't do" -- “border enforcement” being the most salient. And in the news a few weeks back there was the story of illegal immigrants employed by the government to build a border fence. But there does seem to be a job in which Americans are under-represented. The US military. “The Pentagon is responsible for 40 percent of the world's military spending, and outspends the next 20 biggest militaries combined. It's responsible for almost 80 percent of military research-and-development spending,” Mark Steyn tells us.

As I read that, it occurred to me that the hardware is there. The technology is there. But there’s all this talk about our limits. We can’t take on Iran, or North Korea, or Syria -- the current axis of evil -- because of manpower limits. I honestly don’t know why we have any troops at all in Europe, anymore. These soldiers could certainly be used to better effect in other parts of the world. Propping up local economies in Germany is good for Germany, but that country can tend to its own needs. A token presence, a stop-over point, and a place for R&R. That’s what our European bases should be for.

But even so, reports have it that maintaining adequate manpower levels in the military is a problem. There is a “stop-loss” policy in effect, where some soldiers are held over for up to an additional 18 months over their contracted enlistment time. Hmm. My own son is going to be impacted by this. Well, if it’s necessary, I suppose that’s that. But if volunteers were more numerous, it wouldn’t be necessary.

So my instant solution is to open up the borders. Well, sort of. Open the borders to all qualified single young men who would seek US citizenship. They may do so while serving in the military. Current law allows non-citizens to serve, and it seems a reasonable step to allow enlistment from outside the country, as well as from inside. The fiction that the immigration department will somehow process the 15 million illegals is beyond absurd. But the military is built for that kind of bureaucracy.

When I was a beardless boy I read Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. Crappy movie. Great book. It introduced me to the idea of earned citizenship. Only those who contributed were enfranchised with voting rights. Those who elected not to serve enjoyed the full protection of the law, but had disqualified themselves from full participation not only of responsibilities, but of privileges. It seemed a really smart idea to me then, and still does. You earn your vote. And it’s an idea not alien to the framers of the Constitution, who allowed for voter qualifications -- such as land ownership: a voter should be vested, should have a tangible stake in the community. It’s not all theory.

Well, that is as it may be. But if we recruit from abroad those who meet clear qualifications of language and literacy, and who have a desire to earn the prize that is currently expected as a gift, well, this is, indisputably, a job Americans won’t do. In adequate numbers. Such men would be welcome. They would serve, they would have acted honorably, they would be assimilated. We would be blessed by their presence, as they would partake of our blessings. Their home countries would be the poorer for their loss. But their home countries do not deserve them.

It’s just a thought. But contrasted to the odious thought of the leeches who skulk in to siphon funds out of the country while lowering the wages paid to hard working Americans -- well, there is no comparison. It’s night and day. And the thing is, that same young man, depending on how he arrives, could be either a leech or a hero. Let’s provide him with an honorable choice, eh? It’s just a thought.



GUYK said...

My recruiter friends tell me that their problem is not attracting a sufficient number of is attracting a sufficient number of QUALIFIED volunteers.

We have dumbed down the public education system to the point that at about half of the high school grads cannot score high enough on the Armed Forces Qualification test
to enlist. Of those left who want to enlist many cannot because of police records.

This is also the problem with so many immigrants..they just are not qualified and the time and effort that it takes to teach and train them is not worth it at the moment. The days are gone when the Army would take every one but a pin head and the measurement was with a basketball hoop. Todays military takes more than just being able to hit the target with a rifle at 100 yards. The weapons systems are complex and it takes the ability to read and understand directions.

But, otherwise I think you are right..nearly except I would not open the borders..just work a deal where recruiters could recruit in other countries.

Rantin' Ron said...

Great points and well thought out. I agree with most of it.

I also agree with the previous commentor "Guyk" but I would suggest that since we're ALREADY educating millions of illegals, we might as well include ROTC type training while they are in school.

I don't like the "open the borders" idea but hell....they are ALREADY basically open so..why not if we're not going to protect them anyway?

Great Blog by the way...I'll be back often.

Jack H said...

Greetings. I've amended my unclarity. "Open the borders"?!?! What, am I nuts? Well, yes. But am I stupid? I should hope not.