This is a very interesting op-ed from the Asia Times. It tries to explain why this statement is true: "In terms of linguistic and cultural capacity, the US today commands what may be the lowest-quality clandestine service of any great power in history." His answers to questions why we dont learn foreign languages, why children of immigrants lose the native language of their parents, etc., are thoughtful and, by and large, true. His emphasis on why we cant find enough Arab speakers to be helpful is especially interesting. He even pulls in Heidegger and Wittgenstein.