Ryan McMaken, editor of the Mises Instute’s Mises Wire, takes issue with my July 9, 2015 article for The Federalist supporting the inclusion of aspiring immigrants in the military. The naturalization-by-fighting program has resulted in over 100,000 patriotic Americans becoming officially recognized as Americans. Now there are reports that some immigrant-soldiers in the process of serving are being discharged (though the nature and extent of such discharges is disputed).
McMaken (link to his article) characterizes the military as both a handout and a “jobs program.” The idea that the military should be treated as a jobs program is something I fiercely disagree with, which was the point of my article. Congressmen were arguing against allowing non-citizens to become soldiers on the basis that it might deny American-born citizens a job. McMaken accurately quoted a representative excerpt: “I’m not worried about the country or origin of those who are fighting to defend us. What matters is that our military is as strong as it can be.”
McMaken thinks that the military is actually treated as a jobs program by legislators and officials. To the extent that it is, I oppose such treatment, as I wrote.
McMaken writes, “The rub, however, is that military spending doesn’t actually improve the economy.” I basically agree with him. Military spending shouldn’t be about improving the economy. It should be about buying a product.
However, while McMaken chooses a nice excerpt, he did not accurately characterize my position: