“Based on my year traveling through Africa, I have concluded that Marines are very popular training partners on the continent because they are Marines. They have a reputation for military efficiency and soldierly virtue, and they have many of the qualities that make them great foreign advisors, mentors, and liaisons. I have also concluded the primary deficiency Marines have in Africa is a lack of appropriate foreign language ability, and there are other organizations on the continent that conduct similar activities better: the French military and the Peace Corps.”
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Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He has won some prizes. Follow Tom Ricks on Twitter @tomricks1