Monday, May 4, 2009
"Mr. Ambassador, Tear Down This Wire" (But Leave the Wall, We Might Need That)
Thanks to Diplopundit for pointing out this ceremonial de-fanging of U.S. Embassy Kabul's perimeter wall.
As someone familiar with razor-ribbon, I'm pleased to see it being removed in this instance because, matters of image aside, I don't think the embassy was getting much actual protective benefit from it. In the first place, they were using weak short-barb wire rather than the good stuff: U.S. Mil Spec General Purpose Barbed Tape Obstacle Type II. When you really need razor ribbon accept no substitutes. And in the second place, they had installed it ineffectively, just attaching it to wall outriggers (i.e., those short posts that point up at 45 degree angles from the top of the wall) instead of really tensioning it. In my judgment, that perimeter wall was easier for an attacker to scale when he could use the outriggers as hand-holds than it is now without the wire topping.
But the really interesting thing about the above photo is that the Ambassador is wearing a necktie the exact shade of Home Depot Orange that perfectly matches the step-ladder he's standing on. What fabulous dress sense he has!