The Ugly American Book Analysis

2085 Words 8 Pages
The Ugly American depicts the difficulties the United States experienced in trying to defeat communism in Southeast Asia. It highlighted methods that the U.S. should have adopted to be successful and the ones that led to failure. The book demonstrated how the political and social climates were affected by individuals’ lack of consideration and awareness of the Sarkhanese culture. The characters in this book are fictional, however some share similar qualities of American diplomats serving abroad today. In this essay, I will identify characters that either succeeded or failed to create a positive and productive atmosphere that supported the U.S. interests. I will evaluate characters from the book and relate them to the SOF Imperatives they demonstrated …show more content…
Special Forces operators work with foreign governments, soldiers, and local populations all around the world. The Special Forces operator is expected to be proficient in the target language and have a keen knowledge of the culture in their area of operation. However, they still seem to disrespect the local culture and carry themselves like Joe Bing. A good example of Bing in Afghanistan is the way we treat our partner nation force. Too many times, I have seen fellow teammates playing loud music, drinking energy drinks, and being obnoxious during prayer time. Another example is during breakfast, they are eating rice and we are eating bacon and eggs. We know that they do not believe in eating pork but we disregard their feelings and culture. Many believe that if the soldiers understood the culture and did not blatantly disrespect it, most of the “green on blue” attacks could be prevented. I believe if Bing would have taken the time to understand the culture, learn the language and show respect to the local people, the outcome would have been favorable to U.S. interests. Bing liked to have parties; if he catered those parties to the standards of the local culture and invited more than just his selected few, he could have established a wealth of rapport and been more effective in accomplishing U.S. Interests. In my opinion, Bing only cared about himself and never took …show more content…
The book described characters that unknowingly possessed different imperatives. This essay illustrated how Joe Bing’s lack of appreciation for the Sarkanese culture directly affected the political climate. It also demonstrated how Joe Bing like service members could hinder the United States’ interest in the host nation. The essay showed Homer Atkins as a character that United States service members should emulate. He illustrated the effectiveness of applying capabilities indirectly. His relationship with Jeepo is the same relationship we strive to have with our partner force. In this essay, MacWhite was the character that demonstrated the most SOF imperatives. Though I only named a few imperatives, he possessed most of them in some form. MacWhite had a unique understanding of the operational environment. When he did not have an understanding, he took it upon himself to resource out and attain the knowledge. Because of his keen understanding of his environment, he was able to understand the psychological effects the Americans had on the Sarkanese culture. Even though the United States government denied his request and forced him to resign, he demonstrated traits of a competent leader. MacWhite stood up for what he knew was the right thing even if the outcome was losing his job. Most of all, this book illustrated the importance of knowing your operational environment and understanding the language and

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