Language & War
TIME's otherwise brilliant article on General Paul Harkins and the Viet Nam war [May 11] overlooks a serious failing in our guerrilla warfare efforts-language. A U.S. Ranger in full combat gear seems far less like an intruder in a remote village if he can speak Vietnamese with its inhabitants. Yet even Special Forces troops in Viet Nam rarely receive more than a four-week cram course in local language and culture before beginning their assignments.
As a Korean linguist for the Air Force, I have seen the use of language produce...