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

Monday, November 8, 2010

PGON-ism of the week- Circle the Wagons

It's been a while since I've put out a Pentagon-ism of the week and I would be remiss if I didn't mention the ubiquitous battle cry to "Circle the Wagons!"    

I always chuckle to myself when I hear this melodramatic term used.  I mean, really, are we truly 'pioneers' under attack from vicious natives...outnumbered and outgunned but ready to make a dramatic stand for victory by banding together?!  Or are we just gonna have a slightly busier than usual week?

While this term is obviously meant to inspire these pioneer-esque type of thoughts within those of us in the audience, it is often misused as a call for cooperation and communication.  As in:

"Alright guys, we need to circle the wagons this week, and figure out how we are going route this info memo about the French CNO's favorite red wine to our CNO."  


"We need to circle the wagons and figure out where we are going to have coffee this morning, the dunkin donuts is a bit of a walk, but that have some great new mocha flavored coffee."

For the intellectually curious:
Origin of Circle the Wagons

Circle the Wagons: The History of US Army Convoy Security Book

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