I'm not really sure if this is your area of expertise, but I couldn't really find another community with such diverse international interests, so I came right back to my trusted linguaphiles.
Here's my situation. I'm trying to go back to school and get my B.A. so that I can get commissioned in the United States Air Force as a Foreign Area Officer. I would like to major in International Area Studies, but I'm not yet sure which area I want to study. Ideally it would have been Western Europe and the European Union, but since the Air Force is currently over manned in that area, they are not currently accepting applications for that. My next choice is a three way tie among Africa, the Middle East, and Russia. And by Africa and the Middle East I mean the Maghreb, but I somehow doubt that's where I would end up if I majored in one of those.
So I'm not really asking you to decide for me, but I was wondering if you could help me put together a pros and cons list for each one. What knowledge or experiences do you have of these regions whether it be culturally, linguistically, or anything else you would deem significant?
Thanks, all. You guys are awesome.