Disclaimer: If you find yourself lost while reading this post, please reference my last post to find out what a Marshall Brief is. Otherwise this will not be a pleasant experience for you.
I'm finding it harder and harder to believe there are people out there that make policies as a profession. Writing this Marshall Brief may be one of the most frustrating/terrifying/confusing/eye-opening things I've ever done. I feel obliged to give an immense amount of respect for whoever has the courage, and the divine patience, to take on the job.
My group got together this morning at a quarter to eight to discuss the fact that our project was compromised, and how cool it was that we thought of a legitimate American foreign policy plan. We decided quickly that we were going to salvage the mega-hours of research that we had already done by proposing a plan to simply switch our plan around in order to incorporate a GMO that will fix the vast malnourishment in India, in lieu of the shortage of food. Of course, as soon as we decided on this strategy, we found out that India already approved a plan to implement Golden Rice when it becomes commercially available in 2011.
After that it seemed every time we thought of a strategy we later came across a piece of information which would render our plan illegitimate. We repeated this process until it got to the point when we agreed that India was doing everything that we could possibly think up for replenishing its food supply. This left only one question for us, "Why are people still starving?!"
What happened next turned out to be a bit of an an eye-opening experience for me. We went to a boardroom in order to meet with our mentor for an hour to discuss what we had so far. In this meeting we confessed that everything we were thinking of was being done already. He simply said "I'll tell you what everyone is told at some point while writing a dissertation, 'Just write it.' You already know plenty about the subject, so make a plan and start writing." What he meant was that we were never going to learn everything about food deficits in India, especially in four days. He advised us to stop researching and come up with a solid plan based on the knowledge we had and that that was all we could do.
I realized that this lesson coincides with the message of a lecture that we heard the other day. The speaker told us about a friend of his that was pulled out of bed in the middle of the nigh to give a briefing at the white house on an issue of national security. This man did not have anymore than a 10 minute car ride to prepare the brief. While he was an expert in the general field he obviously could not have learned all of the facts about the situation in these ten minutes and must have been grossly uninformed while giving a brief that would affect the lives of thousands of people. The speaker went on to explain that this is common practice.
This revelation that even the people creating foreign policies which generally affect millions, if not billions, of lives don't always have all the facts, speaks volumes to me about the potential instability of our world. However, it also instills in me a sense of hope and pride in the natural composition of humanity as a whole. I figure that since the system which creates our policies doesn't protect us from human error, then it must be true that natural human skills are responsible for the fact that we haven't blown ourselves up yet. As sad as it seems, this fact is very encouraging to a growing intellectual, such as myself, who has just listened to a man talk at length about all of the countries that have the capability of blowing the world a couple times each.
I apologize for the lack of information in this post. I thought it might be interesting to take you inside my inner monologue for the day.
Hope all is well on the outside.
Thanks for reading!