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The number of foreign recruits in the Army rose from 30 to more than 1,400 in just seven years.
Anyone from outside the UK wishing to sign up must be a British dual national, a citizen of the Irish Republic or from a Commonwealth country.
Figures released by the Ministry of Defence show 1,420 people from overseas joined in 2008/09, compared to 30 in 2001/02.
Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member Leanne Wood obtained the figures through a freedom of information request.
"This paints a picture of an army being extended beyond its means with the war in Iraq initially, and then the conflict in Afghanistan from the very start and we maintain that troops should be brought home."
An MoD spokesman said: "The Army will continue to ensure that it has the right calibre of people in order to maintain operational effectiveness."