Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is now the latest in a line of immigrants challenged about whether it’s truly possible for them to serve the United States as patriots.
Vindman, a refugee who fled the Soviet Union as a 3-year-old, has been casually accused of espionage and dual loyalty as he’s offered testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Republicans picked up those themes again on Tuesday, asking about an offer Vindman received from a top Ukrainian official — which may have been a joke — to become Ukraine’s defense minister. The White House dedicated its morning tweets to questioning his character and judgment. At their heart, such comments call into question the bargain many immigrants in uniform make with the United States military: that their service will be valued because they chose to serve, even because of their birth certificate, not despite it.
Over time, the United States has slowly made it easier for immigrants to serve and to naturalize expeditiously while serving, to our benefit. The Trump administration, though, has reversed any such progress, diminishing the meaning of service — with far-reaching impacts on the force going forward.
Read the full article in The Washington Post.
More from CNAS
CommentaryThe All-Volunteer Force: Civil-Military Relations Hit Home—and Abroad
Tensions in the civil-military relationship threaten national security from conflicts abroad to cities across the United States....
By Nathalie Grogan
CommentaryConfronting Digital Misogyny: Why the Military’s #MeToo Moment Must Tackle Cyberharassment
Pentagon officials and military commanders must update their responses to reflect 21st-century norms...
By Margaret Seymour & Cailin Crockett
CommentaryTrump allegedly disparaged America’s war dead. The backlash probably won’t decide the election.
Civil-military lines are more blurred than ever....
By Jim Golby
CommentaryJohn Kelly lent his military credibility to Trump. It’s too late now to stay neutral.
There is, however, no middle ground whereby former officers can enter the political fray but then claim the mantle of nonpartisan servants when things do not turn out the way ...
By Dr. Jason Dempsey