The flight from Dubai to Sana’a was a quiet one. Our team was travelling in the dead of night, partly for operational security concerns, partly to get the cheapest fare and save the Pentagon a few dollars. The plane was half empty and those on board were sleeping to the hum of the engines.
Below me was the pitch-black desolation of the Rub al-Khali, the massive desert encompassing the southern portion of Saudi Arabia that forms the natural border between the kingdom and her southern neighbors, Yemen and Oman. It was an ocean of sand with nothing for hundreds of miles in every direction. As I sat there, exhausted but unable to sleep, I had no idea how this mission would tie into the catalyst that would lead to my resignation from the U.S. government in frustration and disgust.
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