"We were professional, non-partisan diplomats bound by our oath of loyalty to the US Constitution. Our job was to build effective relationships with key figures outside the United States. We used our language skills, respectful curiosity, and understanding of local politics to promote US national interests as our president and secretary of state directed.
We did not know each other. Ann, who was also a reserve colonel in the US Army, had helped reopen US Embassy Kabul after the fall of the Taliban. Brady was a 20-year political officer who had learned something about tribal politics and the limits of US power. John was a practitioner of public diplomacy with over twenty years’ experience, mostly in Eastern Europe. We shared one key professional judgment, that this war we were ordered to promote would be a disastrous mistake."