Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Robert E. Barbour
BARBOUR: No, the one who bore the brunt of it was the DCM, Wells Stabler, who had a difficult job at times running the Embassy because he didn't know what the Ambassador had done or said or wanted. Their relationship was not very cordial.
Q: You left Rome in 1972 and where did you go?
BARBOUR: I went to the Royal College of Defense Studies in London, the former Imperial Defense College, for exactly one calendar year, from January 1972 to January 1973. It was a very stimulating, a very stimulating year, extremely agreeable and intellectually rewarding. Probably one of the most agreeable years I had in the Foreign Service.
Q: This was mainly British military?
BARBOUR: Yes, we were approximately sixty in the class. Of that sixty probably forty were British military from all the services, some civil servants, one or two foreign office, other ministries; the rest were non-British from the Commonwealth—New Zealand, Australia, Nigeria, Ghana—some non-Commonwealth—Iran, Greece, other NATO, Belgium, four Americans, three uniformed and one not. It was a small group; I was number fifty-five, almost at the end. We met for lecture usually at ten o'clock in the morning, a nice hour to begin. The course year was divided into British institutions, economic policies, world trends and strategies. The purpose was to take the up and coming British officer, they were mostly brigadiers, who were going on to other things and get them out of the trenches, so to speak. Most of them had public school backgrounds, public school and academy, but not university. Amazingly well informed in certain areas—imagine these rough and tumble brigadiers writing messages in Greek back and forth, quoting in Latin. Very articulate but largely unread after a certain level. For two years they had had a civilian intellectual, well known, son of the author of The Thirty-Nine Steps...