When I visited Germany in June 2009, the Bundestag was going through the process of approving NATO's deployment of Airborne Warning and Control Systems [AWACS] planes to Afghanistan. While it meant I had less time with the Lt. Colonel I wanted to talk to, I got to see the process play out before me that week.
When I visited the Netherlands in February of 2011, the Dutch were considering a police training mission to send to Kunduz after having the regular forces leave Uruzguan the previous year. The fun part of Dutch decision making is that there always seem to be heaps of uncertainty until the votes are actually cast. I learned a lot of their Article 100 procedure by seeing it applied while I happened to be in The Hague.
|I happened to bump into a crowd of Parisians seeking a view of|
the Obamas while they shopped.
Anyhow, overall, I have been lucky until now. I was supposed to go to Brazil in April as part of the next big project. No, it is not Zika that is causing me to cancel the trip but severe political problems that will mean few opportunities to talk to Brazilian politicians. A constitutional crisis will do that.... alas.
The good news is that this grant lasts five years, and I will have time to do this trip down the road. Tis disappointing, but my luck ran out, and I have been mighty lucky until now.