So.... That news makes me very happy. I'm not even going to try to sum it up—save to say that if you can read it without tears of laughter, you have no heart.
Any expat SMBIVANs? Expat life can land you at the edge of Uncle's traveling machination circus. There's no world changing perspective in it, unless you're a naif, but you can get a close look at a few of the personalities that make up the foreign policy implementation machine. They tend towards a contemptuous parochialism. Very few bother to learn the language. They have the privileged high school brat appetite for empty resume building. They're dependent on accomplished strivers who lack the connections and pathology for fighting their way up the food chain. They get sick of each other's company, and struggle between garrulity and paranoia. When garrulity is ascendant, they talk about their favorite topics, with a heavy emphasis on themselves. They'd do better to shut up. The paranoia is a fatuous, solipsistic paranoia. They're worried about threats to their careers, which makes them mistrustful of the strivers. What they do about that is classic, straight out of the General Motors or Microsoft management playbooks: they deliberately undermine the only people with any idea of what's actually going on. Then they close ranks, play stupid and wait for massive bailout intervention. And it works! Because the only serious sins of their profession are breaches of propriety.