U.S. “foreign internal defense was the hottest mission set”

An article about the importance of the U.S. troops understanding foreign languages has this buried lede:

…foreign internal defense was the hottest mission set, and every unit — even Navy SEALs and Delta Force, which tend to focus on direct-action operations — jumped at the opportunity to conduct it in order to be deployed.

It makes the military sound geared towards being highly competitive on budget to be sent far away, which seems ironically contradictory to core concepts of internal defense values (collaborative and local).

Also it reminds me of the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which was chartered 5 June 1916 to better “understand” foreign languages within and around the British colonial empire.

In other words during the height of WWI the hottest mission set was to train officials (e.g. spies) for overseas postings who would maintain and expand British influence and resist German sabotage. One might even say this training for internal defense is what laid the foundation for the English expression “101”.

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