An American PR man in Afghanistan speaks some Pashto. Actually, the fact he speaks some Pashto is the news he’s currently engaged in pushing on the press. As David Petraeus says, they managed to teach noddy German to hordes of US servicemen going there in peacetime. More to the point, the British army managed to slurp chunks of German into its own culture.
Looking back at this post from June, 2005 – and wasn’t the summer of 2005 a fucking joy? – it looks a lot like nobody really wants to do this. Which mirrors the strategy with uncanny precision. Bureaucracy knows; if you want information, measure what you’re actually doing.