At The Financial Times: my reply to @Silicon Valley Matt

@Silicon Valley Matt

Here is an instructive quote from W. Patrick Lang whose CV appears below the long quote describing inter-agency foreign policy meetings at the White House:

‘-It is increasingly clear that President Obama is disengaged from foreign policy and concentrating on what he sees as his revolutionary domestic agenda.  His victory over Bibi/AIPAC in the Iran nuclear deal fracas is likely to be his last serious foreign policy action.  The foreign policy apparat is running on auto-pilot and is in the hands of incompetents like General Allen.  It is reported to me that every interagency foreign policy meeting in the WH begins with a competitive harangue against Putin and the Russians in what has become a mythic self-generated “struggle” against an imagined rival.  In that  atmosphere the ultimate US reaction to increased Russian activity n Syria can nor be predicted.  pl’

‘Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). He served in the Department of Defense both as a serving officer and then as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service for many years. He is a highly decorated veteran of several of America’s overseas conflicts including the war in Vietnam. He was trained and educated as a specialist in the Middle East by the U.S. Army and served in that region for many years. He was the first Professor of the Arabic Language at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. In the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) he was the “Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism,” and later the first Director of the Defense Humint Service.” For his service in DIA, he was awarded the “Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive.” This is the equivalent of a British knighthood. He is an analyst consultant for many television and radio broadcasts.’

Mr. Lang is in a position to know, if only from hearsay, what takes place in these meetings. Your faith in the president’s canny judgement, indeed his ‘trickiness in a good way’ is just that, a kind of faith, i.e. not based in empiricism but in your exercise of belief. Is that a standard that others might exercise with equal results? Neo-Cons, R2P’rs?



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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