Rule No. 3 is "Emulate Second-Century Rome." A main component of that emulation seems to be making use of "hyphenated Americans," similar to what the Romans did when they incorporated far-flung imperial subjects into the inner workings of the empire...
And made them citizens. Even emperors in some cases.
Right. Why haven't we done this thus far? Also, how has the U.S. military's relationship with "hyphenated Americans" been changing of late?
Well, we have been doing it, and there's been a lot of progress on this since I wrote the article. In fact, one of the stories that got some attention, but perhaps not as much as it should have, is the number of visits by high-level Pentagon officials to Dearborn, Michigan, which is kind of the center of the Iraqi-American community. People in the U.S. government have been increasingly reaching out to Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles, to Iraqi-Americans in Dearborn, hopefully to Palestinians in northern New Jersey. They recognize that we aren't tapping the "hyphenated Americans," and increasingly we're making progress. But just think about it. We have the most international country in the world. Large communities of Armenians, of Iranians, of Laotians, of Vietnamese, and of Arabs. Given this population base, there is no excuse for us not having a diplomatic and military corps that is the most erudite and linguistically sophisticated in the world. And we do, to an extent. But we have to get a lot better at it.
You argue that it isn't necessary for the area specialists whom we trust with delicate missions to agree with or like the orders they are given to carry out. Why is it a benefit for them to be emotionally involved with the host countries, which often causes the specialists to dislike policies from Washington? What guarantees do we have that this dislike won't prevent the policies from being carried out?
This is actually a very controversial subject. It's not controversial in the big news sense, or on the op-ed pages. But it's very controversial in Washington, because the Near East Affairs division of the State Department, which basically deals with the Middle East—the Arabs, the Israelis, Iran—has traditionally been pro-Arab, anti-Israeli for bureaucratic, diplomatic reasons. You have large numbers of people who learn Arabic and then serve their whole careers in Arab countries. And yet there's only one country where they speak Hebrew, so career-wise, why would you want to specialize in that? I wrote a book on this subject called The Arabists. I found out that yes, there is a lot of sloppy thinking in the Near East Affairs division. That comes from "cultural clientitis." And there's very little solution to it. Once you teach someone a difficult-to-learn language, don't you want them to use it? Do you want them to study a language for three years, become fluent, and then only have them serve in one country for three years? No. You want to keep using them, because the public is invested in it. When people learn a language, when they live in a country, and in a second and a third country, they build up marriages, friendships, experiences—which is only human. And it's only human that they're going to develop some kind of an emotional sympathy. To a point there's not much you can do about this. The answer is not to destroy the Near East Affairs division, as some conservatives recommend. The answer is simply to police it. This is a management issue. You don't have to destroy a whole community of experts just because you have a problem with how they feel about something. And remember, we're talking about gradations of differences. Your troops in the field cannot always love the policy that they're carrying out. Sometimes, if they have certain differences with it, it may actually ease their own relationships with the locals. And as long as the policy is not undermined, I don't see the problem.