December 28, 2005

ROBERT KAPLAN was on Hugh Hewitt’s show earlier tonight, talking about his new book, Imperial Grunts : The American Military on the Ground, which I haven’t read but which Hugh seems to like. You can read a transcript of the very interesting interview over at Duane Patterson’s RadioBlogger site. Excerpt:

Yes, one of the things that I think really kind of unnerved the elite, is that while there are all these conferences and discussions in Washington and elsewhere about should we support Afghan warlords or not, should we create an Afghan national army or not, what should our foreign policy be in Yemen or Colombia or in Iraq. I discovered a world of basically working-class people, who were operationally far more sophisticated and knowledgeable about all these issues, who spoke languages, who had personalities that didn’t fit into any one neat division. They were evangelical, but they spoke two exotic languages. People like that who…so while all these discussions are taking place, foreign policy is being enacted on the ground by majors and sergeants and lieutenants, who are utterly oblivious to most of these discussions. And you know what? They’re doing these things very, very well.

Read the whole thing. Now if we could just get Hugh podcasting.