FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Friday, July 16, 2010

Diplomat's Daily Quotable

Tribes: "Great powers should never get involved in the politics of small tribes."
-Kamal Salibi

Well that's easier said than done Kamal...

Tour of duty: "One usually has to be at a post at least a year before one has gotten one's bearings, and established one's relationships, and sensed the important people that you want to cultivate and develop, and established your own rating system for the validity of the information and the soundness of the judgements that you extract, and the learned the country and its problems."
-Livingston Merchant

By the end of that year, you usually only have 6-12 months to use those assets...

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