THE NEW LEGIONS: American Strategy and the Responsibility of Power

By Whitworth, Stephen G. | Military Review, January/February 2013 | Go to article overview

THE NEW LEGIONS: American Strategy and the Responsibility of Power


Whitworth, Stephen G., Military Review


THE NEW LEGIONS: American Strategy and The Responsibility of Power Edward B. Atkeson, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc., Lanham, MD, 2011, 211 pages, $35.00

RETIRED U.S. ARMY major general and senior fellow at the Institute of Land Warfare, Association of the U.S. Army, Edward Atkeson has written an interesting book recommending an unusual strategy to foster American strategic interests around the world. His thesis is that the United States could effectively use a U.S.-led foreign legion to extend its global reach as the world's sheriff. The legionnaires would be motivated by the offer of U.S. citizenship after a number of years of service. He proposes paying the legionnaires less than the United States pays its active duty forces to avoid their being confused as mercenaries. The foreign legion soldiers would presumably be better trained and led than host nation police or military units and more readily accepted. Atkeson's preferred example is the French Foreign Legion.

Atkeson first details the evolution of current international events that have been shaped by policies and decisions focused on Iraq and Afghanistan. He prefers to quote extensively from other national security observers and newspapers including Anthony Cordesman, Fareed Zakaria, Max Boot, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

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THE NEW LEGIONS: American Strategy and the Responsibility of Power
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