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JJA:  “Yes.  Lots of Marines, for some reason, migrate to Langley at a certain point.”

ML:  “But they don’t run the bureaucracy in Langley, as I understand it.  Some of them go nuts at the Agency because they want to do things and Langley keeps saying no.”

JJA:  “Right.  So there’s a potential for problems for both of the P’s.  The Agency top honchos might want to reign him in, while down the road at the Pentagon, the top honchos might find the new guy overly cautious.”

ML:  “After Gates???”

JJA:  “Yes, Gates was fairly cautious, but they liked him personally and he seems to have developed real affection for the warriors.  General Mattis, for example, who now commands CENTCOM, seems to have been one of Gates’s favorites, and Mattis is a legendarily tough guy.”

ML:  “And what about Petraeus’ successor?  That would be General Allen.”

JJA:  “You know, he’s one of the most admired military men in America.  He’ll have to be awfully good to keep some sort of momentum in Afghanistan.”

ML:  “He seems to have gotten very lucky, if it’s true that Ryan Crocker is going to be the new ambassador in Kabul.”

JJA:  “Lucky isn’t the word.”

I was starting to get static now…damn ouija board was smelling more like a failed omelet…

JJA:  “…great diplomat, fantastic in Iraq…replaces a total dolt…Eichenberry…”

And he was gone.  But he’d pretty much said it all, don’t you think?

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