Pentagon crafting plan to scrutinize potential military recruits with foreign ties, green cards: report

Pentagon crafting plan to scrutinize potential military recruits with foreign ties, green cards: report
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The Pentagon is crafting a plan to scrutinize potential military recruits with green cards or other foreign ties, The Washington Post reported, citing internal memos.

The process likely would include screening recruits whom the Pentagon deems "foreign nexus" risks, according to the Post. That would include Americans who have spouses from other countries and Americans who have family members with dual citizenship. 

The Post reported that the new system, which is still being developed, will be shared with military services by Feb. 15. 

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The memos reviewed by the Post reportedly cited "counterintelligence or terrorism risks" as the Pentagon's reasoning behind the new vetting system.

“One primary concern associated with qualifying for these positions relates to the potential counterintelligence or terrorism risks. ... The Department must implement expanded foreign vetting and screening protocols to identify and mitigate the foreign nexus risks," a memo reportedly reads.

Under the vetting system, anyone whom the Pentagon determines to require screening wouldn't be able to attend recruit training until he or she has been cleared. 

The Pentagon did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill. Defense officials declined to comment to the Post.

Other prospective recruits who could face screening include those who have a non-U.S. passport, have lived outside the U.S. for more than three of the past 10 years or have financial interests abroad, according to the Post.

The Post noted that Judge Jon Tigar, an appointee of former President Obama who sits on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, ruled last year that it was not reasonable for the Pentagon to mandate full background checks for all green-card holders. The Defense Department, the Post notes, has continued to fight the case in court.