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14 December 2010


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Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

When he was appointed as the envoy, Holbrooke had said something I found striking. He turned to look at John Negroponte who was present at the announcement and said, "Maybe we'll win this one, Ponte." As I recall both men were in Saigon as FSOs in their younger years.

I didn't know what that meant at the time, but I wonder how many old hands from Vietnam share that sentiment.

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot

Actually, I think any of the following should be appointed to clean up the mess they created:
* G.W. Bush
* R.B. Cheney
* K.W. Rove (all of these wards were about domestic politics anyways)
* C. Rice
* S. Hadley
* R.B. Myers
* P. Wolfowitz
* D. Rumsfeld

Any or all of them would make fine additions to the staff of the great and almighty General David. As a taxpayer, sending them on a free plane ride to Kabul or Kandahar would be an exception use of our money.


Laura Wilson

Amen, RP! Send Condi and Karl and Paul...the three musketeers. At the very least, they will rip each other apart!

Holbrooke looked horrible the last year...he did indeed kill himself. RIP.


I propose a new version of "The Amazing Race" ... contestants (Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice, Hadley, Myers, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld et al.) will be flown into Kabul airport and given $200 US. Contestants will make their own way (by taxicab, bus, or hitch-hiking) to Kandahar, where they will receive instructions for the next leg of their journey.

Participation is mandatory...


Cordesman has this all wrong. The Grand Strategy of the Existential War and the limited war on the American Middle Class is going well, just look at the extension of the Bush tax cuts that a decade ago eliminated a budget surplus and created a deficit. To quote Mr. Cordesman "The Afghan structure of governance, and critical problems in economic opportunity and the distribution of wealth, still present critical problems."

Just substitute "American" for Afghan and you describe both the last and the next US elections.

I vote for sending neither Cordesman nor any on RP's list of candidates. I'll go, I at least learned something from Iraq, namely that I would need some slip on shoes (for throwing at various presidents/prime ministers during important meetings.) And from Afghanistan - that zero of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 were from there (or Iraq) and bin Laden ain't around either. Besides, I'm both cheaper and I'll accomplish just as much as any of them, i.e. not a damned thing.


You're probably right, we might deserve Cordesman for our sins, but I can't persuade myself to like the man. I have seen him re-invent himself again and again over the years, almost always pretending to expertise he didn't really have, and I think he will continue that pattern.

I'll miss Holbrooke. For good or ill, any discussion with him was mortal combat. The only time I ever bested him was by surrendering so quickly he was taken by surprise.

The Moar You Know


Frankly, you are overqualified and overexperienced. And you would cause immense economic harm by getting this messy business wrapped up in a few days, rather than the decades-long timeline that our government seems to prefer.

That being said, I wholeheartedly endorse your being given the job.


I don't know about Cordsmans. I've read some of his reports and thought he was full of himself and wrong to boot on Iraq and Afghan.
I don't see anything to recommend people who suddenly "saw the light" after they were proved wrong.

It means they had bad judgement or a faulty/wrong attitude to begin with...why would we want more of that?

Patrick Lang


Irony, my dear. Irony. pl

Patrick Lang

Dear Basilisk

you know I can't stand the man (cordesman). pl


Col. Lang,

"You know I can't stand the man (Cordesman)."

After reading his speech at the link, I admire your discrimination and taste in enemies.


Clifford Kiracofe

Well, he will be back on the Kool-Aid flavor of the month bottle soon, IMO. I agree with Basilisk and Col. Lang.

There are many such "defense intellectuals" sprinkled around inside the Beltway not to mention in think tanks across the US. They get the contracts, grants, awards, etc. for their pseudo and poseur claptrap.

People who really know something threaten the Washington Establishment scene and the political class and are excluded.

Meanwhile the opportunistic spinmeisters like this one get the limelight. A plague on them all.

Russ Wagenfeld

Hi Pat,
Definitely in the top 2 or 3 of the sleaziest individuals I ever encountered in my career. While it would be pleasant to watch him go down in flames it is not something we (the US) can afford.



Cordesman is a member of JINSA.



No surprise there.

William R. Cumming

Exactly what was AC's service record?

Charlie Wilson

"Send him, Lord. pl"

I think I just busted a rib from uncontrolled laughter and I hold you responsible for my pain and suffering, Colonel.

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