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16 October 2010


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Yeah -- "choppered off the roof" was a ref to the Embassy. Another situation where the military left the diplomats holding the bag. Guess our military has never lost a war & never will -- as long as there are governments, civilians & other troublemakers to blame. How does my scenario differ from what you recall from VN?


Thank you for the illumination, I appreciate it. I will seek out the recommended work - the little time that I've spent with Luttwak to date has been rewarding.

Can't disagree with the fundamental premise, though I have to say that I'm not wildly enthused about where some of the implications of it may lead (e.g., necessity of a tidily managed withdrawal, enduring accomodation with Pakistan to ensure access so the "sigs" [etc. - much etc.] people can continue to generate targetting intelligence, continued presence of air power on the southern margin of the Gulf). Offshore balancing seems to be an up and coming policy "sell" judging from some of the Washington seminar titles I see on the web, but I tend to think it's not going to be as tidy as some buying it politically may think.

Patrick Lang


Ah! Did I hurt your feelings? pl


Pirate Laddie,

Just a point on details:
The building shown, with the Huey loading up people climbing a precarious ladder, was not the embassy. It was another building (claimed to be used by the CIA). The embassy's rescue helos landed in the courtyard, once they had cut down an inconvenient tree.


"Another Dolchstoslegende involving hippies will be constructed."

I think this has already started, even though America seems to have a shortage of actual hippies. Perhpas fans of Lady Gaga/Enimem/Keisha and whoever the college crowd is listening to now?


Ah, A slight correction on my last. The Embassy had a rooftop helo pad (for light birds), but the 53's and jolly greens could not use it, and used the courtyard instead.

The CIA building that had the rooftop pad was at 22 cong ly street, Saigon.



Did you perchance ever meet Orrin DeForest (agency guy who wrote the book "slow Burn,") who ran a successful collections unit in Country?

Did You ever meet George W. Allen (DoD Intel and CIA), who, with others, tried to counter MACV's low ball infiltration and OOB figures? I read his book "None So Blind."

R Whitman

If DP becomes Chaiman of the JCS next year, we might have some positive outcomes on other mideast problems.

DP has approached the White House about the difficulty of military operations in Muslim countries without settlement of the Israeli/Palestine situation. We might see a renewed and more realistic push there.

In addition, I would think that it would lessen the possibility of a US attack on Iran. After DP settles two wars I do not see him being a party to starting a third. It would screw up his "saintly" reputation.


I was at a conference at the end of last week in which Michael O'Hanlon of Brookings said (after warning that the paradise we've crafted for Afghan women would end if we didn't stay there for ever)that "there is no difference between the Taliban and Al Qaeda. None."

I kid you not.



Re: Is it true that the Chinese symbol for "transition" and "danger" are the same?

Guten abend (from my side of the hemisphere),

Actually the characters depict both CRISIS (危 wei) & OPPORTUNITY (機 ji). But lately the U.S. of A seems unable (due to lack of means & capability) to capitalize on the latter. Well, you get my drift...

Gautam Das


Michael O'Hanlon is due here in a few days to talk on NATO/ISAF strategy in Af'stan.

Could it be that the Brookings Inst and St David (aka 'the Teflon general') think differently on this? Or is St David's new line more due to 2012 considerations, never mind the Afghans or the condition of their women?

Gautam Das
Delhi, India

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