December 07, 2017

Foreign National Recruitment Must Stay True to Its Roots Under Trump Administration

By Jennie Kim and Jeesue Lee

Last December, the U.S. Department of Defense suspended the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest Program, which responsible for recruiting foreign nationals living legally in the U.S. who have mission-critical foreign language, cultural, and medical skills, in exchange for an expedited path to citizenship.

In an October announcement, the Defense Department introduced two policies that indicate a longer and more strenuous vetting process for the program. These policies foreshadow a coming shift in the ability to recruit military personnel with critical skills.

Recruits brought in under the program serve as interpreters, physicians, and nurses, providing skills that simply cannot be quickly grown in-house, and can mean the difference between life and death on the battlefield. By making the process to obtain citizenship through the program more challenging, the U.S. military is hurting mission readiness, as well as its ability to properly maintain its all-volunteer force.

The reasons for the program's suspension are two-fold. Some lawmakers have pointed to the potential for foreign infiltration as a primary cause to end or tighten the program. Oklahoma Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) criticized the program’s vetting process as rife with security problems, citing the “lack of discipline in [the] implementation of the program.”

Read the full commentary in Independent Journal Review.

  • Podcast
    • July 1, 2020
    COVID-19 Has Forced The Army To Rethink And Step Up Its Virtual Recruiting Efforts

    The Army is holding its first nationwide virtual recruiting campaign, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to scale back face-to-face interactions and revealed gaps in its di...

    By Emma Moore

  • Video
    • June 24, 2020
    The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas

    On June 17, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Sixteen applicants made t...

    By Richard Fontaine, Michèle Flournoy, Michael J. Zak, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Shai Korman, Carrie Cordero, Kristine Lee, David Zikusoka & Cole Stevens

  • Commentary
    • The Hill
    • June 21, 2020
    Why your next university president should be a veteran

    Robert L. Caslen’s tenure as president at the University of South Carolina was nearly over before it began. When he started his presidency in August 2019, he faced dissen...

    By Emma Moore & Barrett Y. Bogue

  • Reports
    • June 11, 2020
    Called to Lead

    Authors Barrett Bogue and Dr. Andrew Morse examine the connections between military service and higher education leadership roles based on interviews with veterans who work in...

    By Barrett Y. Bogue & Dr. Andrew Morse

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia