It appears that the US is set to start raising mercenaries:
The Pentagon’s manpower chief says a measure to legalize young immigrants who came to the county illegally is an obvious way to attract more high-quality recruits to the armed forces.
Clifford Stanley, the undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, says it would be unconscionable not to enact the so-called Dream Act. It would give hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants brought to the United States before the age of 16 a chance to gain legal status if they joined the military or attended college.
Perhaps the problem isn’t that we can’t get enough high-quality recruits
into the armed forces, it’s that we need so many of them in the first place. No one seems to consider this.
How many bridges, college degrees and medical care would, say, half of this year’s $600 billion that is siphoned to the Pentagon buy in the US?
Now, in general, it seems to me that government expenditures are not “wasted”; someone uses it, somewhere. It’s mostly Americans building the armaments and transporting the troops to their training grounds and manning the KFCs in the base towns, so to a large extent, that money isn’t disappearing, it’s cycling right back into the economy.
But billions do disappear, one way or the other.
It seems to me that any reasonable person who wants to talk about cutting the cost of government has to put the Pentagon on the chopping block with everything else, too.
It is strange to me that patriotism in this country has come to be strongly identified with “supporting the troops.” Strange that we feel it so necessary to constantly state that our freedoms are upheld by loaded weapons and the men carrying them. Strange that it is so little thought of that perhaps the best way to support the troops is to have less of them.