Yalla Ya Jama’ah (Hurry up, folks!)
The Department of Defense is having difficulty, according to Fred Kaplan at Slate, in coming up with a policy on teaching Arabic to Pentagon personnel. Not a program, not a class. A policy.
The University of Michigan and other Title VI (federally-supported) centers, in contrast, are training thousands of Americans in Arabic every year, and doing the language teaching at a very high level, with great professionalism and innovation. The critics of those Centers would have you believe that they aren’t serving the interests of the United States, but in fact they are at the vanguard of helping Americans understand the Middle East at this fateful juncture.