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

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

PGON-ism of the week: "Across the River"

Get more than two O-6s (or three O-5s, or one O-4, or four obnoxious O-3s) in a conference room, office, starbucks, subway, bathroom, sauna, or weight room (all things which the PGON has) and you are sure to hear the phrase "across the river".

I was a note-taker for a conference last week and I must have heard this phrase hundreds of times. 

The 'river' in this case is the mighty Potomac which is all that separates (physically at least) DOD (Department of Defense) from the rest of the government.  Sometimes this refers to the State Department (usually though they are "Foggy Bottom") but more often than not this refers to Congress or the Executive Branch, pour example:

"Until we get buy-in (future PGON-ism) across the river, we are just spinning our wheels.  We need to start leveraging (future PGON-ism) our OLA contacts"


"Until Congress allocates money for this, we are wasting our time.  We need to start prank-calling some of those OLA Lieutenants (we'd have lunch with them but Capitol Hill trips requires whites which we try to avoid at all costs)."

Again, as with all PGON-isms, the beauty is in the vagueness of the term.  The first sentence of the above quote could be referring to state department which is great if you aren't really sure what is needed to get something done.

Bonus question:  The canal below is NOT the potomac, what was the original vision (and whose vision was it) for this canal?

1 comment:

  1. PGON Bingo in honor of IDS Bingo? I've adapted it to the financial world, in which "granular" is one of the more irritating ones.

    MM '01