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, February 5, 2016

Weekly Reading: Spooks, Buchanan!, Loss, Sanctuary cites, Mada's Legal Morass, FAOs and I am 2nd

How an obscure adviser to Pat Buchanan predicted the wild Trump campaign in 1996
Well this is an interesting article...but who could have really predicted Trump...

On Flying, and Who We Lost
A beautiful heartbreaking post about aviation, friendship and loss.

I Am Second
Then who's first, you will have to see for yourself.  Some incredible videos and stories.

The Struggle With Sanctuary Cities in Iowa
I am learning new things about our crazy political/electoral system all the time.

Eyewash: How the CIA deceives its own workforce about operations
The CIA, of course, denies any knowledge...between articles like these and watching Homeland...

UPDATE: Law and Legal Systems in Madagascar: A Political Siege
A good primer on the pol-legal systems of Madagascar.  I've been here two years and there were quite a few things that I learned.  It's difficult to find much political analysis on Madagascar in English so this was nice to run across.  One quote in particular caught my attention: "Montesquieu recommended that “power should be a check to power” to avoid abuses. However, Madagascar which wishes to be a democratic regime views the legislature and judiciary subordinated to the executive. Further, the Constitution appears to be an instrument used to legitimate and strengthen its supremacy."

This links auto-downloads the PDF--a bit annoying but so far a good 50 pages thesis that I am reading through.    His short answer is yes but AFRICOM needs a more balanced approached in Phase Zero ENCAP, MEDCAP and SC/SA activities.  You can just skip to page 48 to read his conclusions.

Foreign Area Officers learn from the experts at Monterey language school
Nothing I love more than a little FAO propaganda!

"Every FAO is an expert on political-military issues in a particular region of the world, is knowledgeable of security cooperation, highly trained in language skills and interpersonal skills, and is an experienced officer."

We definitely are not trained in 'interpersonal skills' but it's not a bad idea...although I am not sure what that would look like

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