Should NATO create a separate multilingual force?


View Poll Results: Would you answer yes to the question in the OP?
Yes. 0 0%
Yes, but the UN or some other organization, but not NATO. 2 40.00%
No. 3 60.00%
Other answer. 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

Machjo
#1
When we think about it, national defense and foreign occupation require a very different set of skills. For national defense, since soldiers are fighting on their own national soil, they know the local language and culture, and can usually depend on the people to support them in a national military struggle against a foreign foe.

But when we are dealing with foreign occupation, it's a very different matter, and history has proven the difficulties thereof (e.g. The Vietnam War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and now Iraq and Afghanistan). In such wars, our troops are in foreign lands, knowing neither the language nor the culture of the people. This of course puts them at a great disadvantage against local insurgents who can present themselves as of the people, local liberators against a foreign occupier, and they can even point to the inability of these occupiers to even hold the simples of chats with the locals.

Based on this, would you agree that NATO should create a new military force that could recruit anyone regardless of nationality into its ranks, the minimum requirements, besides the usual capabilities that we'd expect from a national defense force, being bilingualism in the common administrative language of that force plus another language, along with a familiarity with world religions and cultures, that would be expected to go to the front lines, other national forces providing support?
 
Machjo
#2
Seeing that even McDonald's expects its front-line staff to know the local language, should we not expect at least the same level of competence on the part of our soldiers?
 
Machjo
#3
Double post, sorry.
 
Machjo
#4
By the way, France has something similar already with the Foreign Legion, so I'm sure they'd have plenty of expertise to bring to the table in how to manage such a multicultural force.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#5
When you are bombing the living crap out of some foreigner, it's always de rigeuer to say "Whoops" in the venacular if you make a mistake!

Some flexibility in language besides "Tough talk" would be nice!
 
Machjo
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

When you are bombing the living crap out of some foreigner, it's always de rigeuer to say "Whoops" in the venacular if you make a mistake!

Some flexibility in language besides "Tough talk" would be nice!

yeah, you're tough talk comment reminds me of an article I'd read a few years ago. US forces had just stormed a mosque, waving rifles around and telling everyone, in English, to get out of the mosque. One woman was trying to explain to a US soldier, in Arabic, that they were all just in the middle of prayers, and no one was fighting. So one US soldier tells her, in Arabic, 'Shut up!' And so she comments, both crying and laughing sarcastically at the same time, to a nearby reporter 'They know how to say 'Shut up!' in Arabic.

Bunch of crome heads. That's not the way to fight a hearts and minds campaign. We have a hard time accepting that tourists, let alone immigrants, not know our local language. Have we not considered that the locals might feel the same way about our troops? Hmmm....
 
Machjo
#7
So yes, requiring our front-line troops to know the local lingo ought to be the most basic requirement expected. If a soldier cannot meet that requirement, he shouldn't be allowed to serve in the front lines, pure and simple. We expect that of our McDonald's staff. How much more should we expect it from a arm-bearing soldier! If they could speak the local language, they could build grassroots relations with the locals. That ain't gonna happen through an effin' interpreter (with all due respect to him of course). If you're waving a rifle in my face, the least you could do is speak my language, especially considering that you're standing on my soil and so you're the 'furriner', and not through a friggin interpreter; I might be dead by then.
 
Machjo
#8
But seriously, how does the Canadian military allow for lower expectations in its soldiers' linguistic abilities than does a friggin McDonald's restaurant? Seriously, is our military leadership that much more incompetent than a friggin McDonald's manager?
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#9
I've always felt the reliance of armed forces on local interpreters reinforces the notion among the locals that those forces are foreign devils.
 
Machjo
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

I've always felt the reliance of armed forces on local interpreters reinforces the notion among the locals that those forces are foreign devils.

No kidding. Look at how the average Canadian reacts when a foreign tourist crosses our path not knowing the local language. Now imagine how we'd react if that local tourist was multiplied by tens of thousands, and then each given the most high-tech weaponry and shooting at us, though still no better in our local language. Now imagine that average Canadian's reaction then. Have our military 'experts' never thought of thatmost basic of concepts when they were playing in the sand box? Have they never worked at McDonald's before? OK, I've never worked there either, but in every company I've ever worked for, knowing the language of the people I was supposed to serve has always been the most basic of job requirements. It is just unfathomable that the military, of all professions, would wave this requirement from men who are trained and equipped to kill and destroy!
 
Machjo
#11
Or even the Canadian military coudl make bilingualism (non necessarily English-French) an absolute minimum requirement for recruitment, with preference given to languages that could be useful in hearts and minds campaigns in the front lines, even if we must recruit non-citizens, especially when we consider that such campaigns are often the primary determining factor in who will eventually win a war.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#12
Being able to talk it up with the locals is a great thing, but in order to prevent communications foul-ups, Command should operate in one language only.
 

Similar Threads

398
Quebec shouldn't separate from Canada
by data-unlimited | Jan 20th, 2010
315
Should Quebec separate from Canada?
by sine000 | Jan 16th, 2010
32
Images separate people
by china | May 11th, 2009
5