• The Annals of Chicken Diplomacy

    August 18, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Military

    Joshua Foust over at The Atlantic serves up a terrific article on how the US has used (poorly) “chicken diplomacy” in various ways. A very worthwhile read.

    Foust quotes from We Meant Well:

    The U.S. has engaged in its own odd chicken diplomacy as well. Peter Van Buren, a career Foreign Service Officer with the State Department, published a memoir last year of his time serving in Iraq. One of the the most memorable chapters in his book, appropriately titled “Chicken Sh*t,” is about efforts to revive the Iraqi chicken industry. Van Buren describes the lavish funding a nearby chicken factory received to get new equipment and to hire people.

    The factory, it turned out, was worthless. Brazil dominated the the global market for frozen whole chickens and Iraq just couldn’t produce poultry cheaply enough to compete (Brazil defends this domination zealously). Worse still, van Buren recounted for NPR, the factory didn’t have refrigeration because it did not have electricity — which makes the idea of a frozen chicken factory rather moot. But rather than admitting failure, van Buren and his team actually created a false factory for when touring VIPs came by, hiring random people to sit on the production line while it processed worthless chickens they could never sell, all to impress a Congressional delegation or administration official into thinking the Iraqi economy was thriving under U.S. leadership.

    Interested in reading the full chapter Chicken Sh*t from the Iraq Reconstruction?

    Also, some photos of the chicken factory.

    Related Articles:

    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • jhoover said...


      Wonder what this dude from state department has skills or merits that promoted him to be in Afghanistan?

      Is he prepared to understand the Stability in Afghanistan ?

      He is an artist (painter)keep painting Afghans officials, elders whenever he have chance to meet them, imagine someone setting in meeting have his painting gear doing, let read what he writing:

      Meanwhile, I’ve continued to do artwork whenever possible. Sometimes it’s in the shuras, where I can draw the people from life, hopefully without their knowing it. For the pastel drawings, though, I have to work from photos. Here are a couple of them:

      Claiming teaching Afghanis how to live in peace, while doing his “Own” artwork, also to show Afghani &teaching a bunch of local widows how to raise chickens to benefits from their eggs!!

      Also giving a lot of seed and fertilizer to district farmers. The intent is to give them legal crops as an alternative to growing poppy.So you believe after ten years now Afghanistan free from “Poppy”? Thank you Skip, you done great job….

      What a dude state department choose for her mission impossible in Afghanistan.
      After year of so he now asking his communicators to find better job back home when he come back for good coming October, highlighting his skill he got from Afghanistan!!

      I also started talking with people about employment and related opportunities after Afghanistan. There are a few interesting possibilities out there that would make use of my background and skills. In a perfect world, I’d be able to use those skills while working (or at least being based) here at home, where I could set up an art studio again and resume making artworks that mean something to me. I’m available after early October – anybody got any ideas?
      Is a trip to Afghanistan gives skills and making him a hero?

      08/19/12 9:03 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Please see the Stars Wars mural: http://www.skiprohde.com/commissions.html

      08/19/12 10:33 PM | Comment Link

    • The Reconstruction Myth | The Pacific Bull Moose said...


      […] The Annals of Chicken Diplomacy (wemeantwell.com) […]

      08/20/12 2:44 AM | Comment Link

    Leave A Comment

    Mail (will not be published) (required)