It’s pretty hard to underestimate either the intelligence or integrity of America’s ruling class. From The Saker at thesaker.is:
Those of you who, like myself, try not to miss any videos or articles by Andrei Martyanov know that one of his “favorite” topics is the utter incompetence of western elites in general and US ruling elites specifically. I am sure that his criticisms appear to be over the top to many people and that is normal. It is completely counter-intuitive to assume that the ruling class (because that is what we are dealing with) of a nuclear superpower and, arguably, the most powerful country on the planet, could be ruled by clueless, ignorant, dishonest imbeciles.
So, is he right or not? Does he speak because he is “anti-US” or a “Russian propagandist”?
I decided to chime in, because I know from the inside what Martyanov describes from the outside, so I want to share with you my own observations on this topic.
I studied in the USA for five years, from 1986 to 1991 and I got two degrees in this time period: one BA in International Relations from the School of International Service (SIS) at the American University and a MA in Strategic Studies from the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University. During these same years I also worked for several (very conservative) think tanks. The following is a summary of observations I made during this time period and after.
First, and I think that this is crucial, I would argue that a generational change took place in the late 80s, but it all truly began with Ronald Reagan’s Presidency. Let me explain.
It is an undeniable fact that, in the past, US colleges had a very good reputation worldwide. Just the number of foreign students coming from all over the world is a good indicator of this reality. And you cannot have a solid university/college/academy without solid, knowledgeable teachers. During my 5 years in Washington DC, I had the chance to have teachers with very diverse and interesting backgrounds including people with the following backgrounds: (just a few examples I remember best)
- UN Naval Intelligence
- Office of Net Assessment
- DoD (all branches except Marines)
- White House
- Northrop/McDonnell Douglas Corporation (YF-23 division)
- PMCs (Israeli)