Lately there have been a number of stories about the US eventually having a foreign legion. Foreign legions have been before… the French have one, and the Romans of course. I don’t know about the French foreign legion, and all I know about the Roman legions comes from the little bit I read. But I do have some questions…
1. To whom will the legionairres have loyalty? In theory, it would be to the US, but in practice, even regular soldiers in a battle situation generally see their loyalty as to the troops fighting beside them, not to God and Country. In the Roman legions, loyalty generally was toward the commanding officer of the legion. Every so often, one or another commanding officer took advantage of the situation and marched on Rome itself. Rotating commanding officers around or having a bureaucracy might solve such a problem.
2. What happens when there is an excuse to reduce the size of the military. Think the Peace Dividend with the fall of the Soviet Union. Say every militant Islamist on earth becomes a Southern Baptist. You can’t just cut the size of the military when the troops need to serve a certain amount of time (20 years?) in order to get their citizenship. Well, you can, but then you piss off the guys with guns. And if African dictators have learned anything, its that you keep the guys with guns happy at all costs. Even if nobody else eats, they do.
3. What happens if enough legionairres have a sufficiently different perspective than most Americans? We might end up with most recruits coming from Africa and the Middle East.
4. The odds of a recruit fighting against a country toward which he has some loyalty go up. Is that a good thing?
What else is there? What are the pros and cons? Your thoughts?