Tags: steve russell | vetting | foreign-born | military | recruits

Rep. Russell: Care Needed When Vetting Foreign-Born Military Recruits

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 12:28 PM

Admitting foreign-born individuals into the military without properly vetting them first could "do an awful lot of harm," Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., an Iraq war veteran who led the mission to capture Saddam Hussein, said Thursday.

"Well, I think that any time you don't have a proper vetting background of folks that could enter from a foreign country, even with special skills, they could do an awful lot of harm, especially when they have been hired for those special skills," the retired lieutenant colonel told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program.

"They have access to things that under the program were even titled in its name violates to the national interest."

According to a Fox News report earlier this week, Defense Department investigators reported finding "potential security risks" in a Pentagon program dating back to President George W. Bush that has enrolled more than 10,000 foreign-born individuals into the U.S. armed forces since 2009.

Sources at the Pentagon told Fox News that there are many enrollees who are now unaccounted for, and that they are alarmed over "foreign infiltration" of the armed forces.

"We're certainly still working with the Department of Defense and investigating this," said Russell. "I think it should be pointed out that the Department of Defense is the one that is reviewing this program because of concerns that they have. I think that's very, very important to note."

There has been a great deal of discussion about whether it's fair to put some foreign-born members of the military under suspension, said Russell, but "when it comes to our national security, I think we need to give the Department of Defense a little bit of space."

In 2016, the Department of Defense authorized 5,000 more people to enter the military under the program, noted show co-anchor Steve Doocy, who wondered if the government could properly vet that many people.

"It's possible, but when they are coming from a foreign background, the vetting gets particularly more difficult," said Russell.

"I think it's important to note that they were hired under or were assessed under very specific criteria, [including a] medical background, hard language skills, things that would be considered vital to our troops, but that's not how they are being employed."

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Admitting foreign-born individuals into the military without properly vetting them first could "do an awful lot of harm," Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., an Iraq war veteran who led the mission to capture Saddam Hussein, said Thursday.
steve russell, vetting, foreign-born, military, recruits
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2017-28-03
Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 12:28 PM
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