What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I knew it, comrade! You pay!

This comes from one of my favourite scenes in the movie Spies Like Us. Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase) is captured by the Soviet-Tajik Highway Control and then interrogated by KGB agents. Threatened that his fingers will be cut off unless he reveals his mission objective, he "confesses" he'd gone to the Soviet Union "to assassinate the Premier." Upon hearing this, the Russian KGB officers look at each other. One says, "I knew it! You pay, comrade!" To which the other menacingly replies: "Let's cut off his fingers anyway."
It's that sort of feeling.
So I wrote not so long ago, reading of this in the Indian press, that disassembled U.S. helicopters were captured by some guys in the FATA, Pakistan. Blood and Treasure entirely legitimately raised doubts about whether I was right to give the story credit. Sounds like we all hedged our bet then? Well, contrary to what my intro may suggest, I haven't won. But at least helicopter engines are now acknowledged to have been stolen.
This from an article Josh has linked to, as part of Registan's excellent coverage of the Georgian-Ossetian-Russian-Georgian war.
The part on the helicopter engines:
"Four US helicopter engines worth $13 million (£7 million) went missing on the way from Kabul to Pakistan in April."
So, this was in April, if the source is correct (and, interestingly, the engines were travelling the opposite way than what I would have expected, out of theatre). The Times of India wrote of things that happened in June. The picture is vague. So if I knew something correctly, it was that there had to be something to the story. I used my instincts, no triangulation to back it up. Now there's something akin to that at last.
So, comrade, you actually don't have to pay. Meanwhile, our (ISAF's) logistical little fingers are being cut off. Not in one piece, though, but by a thousand cuts, the guerrilla way.

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