Browser-Friendly DLI Country Products

The Defense Language Institute produces some truly first-class products on a large number of foreign countries; among them, their “Countries in Perspective” series stand out as among the best: they’re fairly up-to-date, comprehensive looks at every aspect of the country in question, designed to be accessible to non-experts. If you want to know most of everything you’d ever want to know about, say, Eritrea, or Somalia, or Azerbaijan, or Iran, you can do far worse then to read these papers.

They’re available for free download from the “Field Support” website. Unfortunately, this is the one place where the DLI did a less-than-great job: all the documents are PDF files… but most of them have to be downloaded as zip files – which means you can’t just view them in a browser, for one thing – and which means if you search in Google for information contained in them, they won’t show up.

Why they did this, I really don’t know. All I know is, I disapprove. 🙂 And, to be helpful, I’ve uploaded all of the zipped PDF files – as unzipped PDF files, natch – onto one of my servers, so the world doesn’t have to jump through the DLI’s hoops.

The full list, with links, is below:

In alphabetical order – all are Adobe PDF files, most 2MB or under:

Azerbaijan in Perspective

Cambodia in Perspective

China in Perspective

Egypt in Perspective

Eritrea in Perspective

Iraq in Perspective

Iran in Perspective

Israel in Perspective

Ivory Coast in Perspective

Kenya in Perspective

Liberia in Perspective

Morocco in Perspective

Nigeria in Perspective

Pakistan in Perspective

Philippines in Perspective

Russia in Perspective

Serbia in Perspective

Syria in Perspective

Thailand in Perspective

Tunisia in Perspective

Turkey in Perspective

Turkmenistan in Perspective

United Arab Emirates in Perspective

Uzbekistan in Perspective


Published in: General | on March 17th, 2009| 2 Comments »

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  1. On 3/18/2009 at 7:48 pm Rick Said:

    Thank you for these links, I’m about halfway through the Pakistani one. When I was in the army the post library had a section of, and I don’t really remember what they were called but they were hard-bound in white bindings, maybe country guides and I think that they were from the CIA? Anyway I read the one for Afghanistan and I remember that it said that in Kabul there was one public telephone booth. My thought at the time is that there must have been a generator attached to it to power the taps and my question is, whose generator was it. Snark.

  2. On 3/18/2009 at 8:27 pm Nemo Said:

    I know what you’re talking about, and I think they are, or were, called a “Country Guide”. What always fascinated me was the ridiculous amount of detail that went into them, and the implication that somewhere, the CIA, or DIA, or somebody in the government had an expert whose area of expertise included, say, current trends in waterborn illness in rural Bosnia. Years ago, back before computers ran the world, it was a fairly terrifying thought – there but for the grace of God, et cetera.

    Older copies show up on eBay from time to time; I wonder if Uncle Sam has ever produced PDF versions? Hmmn…

    The “Field-Ready Reference Manuals” for various countries are often really interesting, as well – though the newer ones are exhibit a lot more cultural/anthropological understanding, or at least awareness, than the older ones. Probably for the best…