Ryan Long: Nation Building Masterclass | Video

Ryan Long: I remember early in my career, I was at a dinner party with the CEO of Lockheed Martin. He looked at me and said, “Paul, the only way to end it is to be free of weapons.”

That’s when I realized that nation building is a lifelong pursuit, it’s not something you just double up on. Always improving, always looking for a new goal, always spending. This is my nation-building masterclass.

Nigeria, Afghanistan, Cuba, Libya, Venezuela. These are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use.

Advocating can be very tiring, but it can also be very financially rewarding.

If you have done worse than you started, then you know you have done your job.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What Einstein did not mention is the definition of a successful career in foreign policy.

Corruption has received a kind of bad rap. You have to understand that people are not benefiting from corruption, so they are only telling half of the story.

I plan to teach you instability. Sometimes you can force people to pay to make it better before you have to make things worse.

An amateur race-maker would put his hand to one side of a conflict. A true professional knows how to give weapons to both – fairly.

I remember after bombing a civilian wedding, thinking that the media would spend a field day with this. But to my surprise, they were actually quite charitable for our efforts. And that’s when I realized the need to nurture this mutual friendship.

Location, oil, medicine, diamond. These are signs of a region in need of democracy. You have to look at the number of deaths for the contracts that were attached to that number of deaths.

When I was younger, I rode bikes in poor neighborhoods and threw smoke bombs on the stairs of apartment complexes, sometimes injuring pets. A man in a suit came to me, I was a child then, and he asked if I had ever heard of nation building. I said I didn’t do it, it was something I did instinctively then.

And I know now that man is John Bolton.

Some nights, I have trouble sleeping when I think of the damage we have done. I get an annoying, excited feeling like drinking a caffeinated drink before bed. And I have to rely on drone counts to get back to sleep.

Nation-building brings people together from all sides of the corridor. I remember going back to the beach in the summer, where George Bush, Hillary Clinton, and I were riding a triple bike on the waterway, and I thought: “Where else can you get this kind of bipartisanship?”

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