New Kinds of Soldiers in the Military

I came across an article on Yahoo! News earlier today about the increased number of felons being allowed to participate in the Iraq war. Given that the USA is fighting a war on two fronts that are very unpopular and given that there won’t be a draft anytime soon (hopefully), the Army has become more open with its recruiting tactics. Various articles have talked about the growing presence of street gang members in the military as well.

Here are some other articles/links that talk about the situation regarding street gangs in the military:

Government report about gang activity in the military.

Link to a video talking about gang affiliated soldiers.

It should be noted that in December 2007, Congress passed a bill that was intended to ban members of street gangs and other unsavory organizations. It’s been called The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill and it calls for the Pentagon to put membership in a criminal street gang on the list of prohibited activities for service members.

The language of the bill prohibits membership “in any organizations that ‘espouse supremacist causes; attempt to create illegal discrimination … advocate the use of force or violence; or otherwise engage in efforts to deprive individuals of their civil rights.'”

Some YouTube clips about the situation:


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2 Responses to New Kinds of Soldiers in the Military

  1. The bill to criminalize gang membership in the military was vetoed by the President. I won’t add a commentary on my suspicions, but you’ll note that there were more than enough votes for passing the legislation to override the veto, and yet we’ve heard nothing about one.
    Like Right Mind observed: If DoD wants to get serious on gang issues, it needs to make participation in gangs as a disqualifying factor in enlistment.

    But it think there’s more to it than that . . . check the numbers for yourself — http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1585

  2. AD says:

    Thanks for the update. As a practical matter, I can’t say that I’m surprised at the veto or the weak legislative response to the veto.

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