On Watch - Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. "In his memoir, Zumwalt relates a story of a conversation he had had with Kissinger while on the train from Washington to Philadelphia to see the Army-Navy game. Before the conversation, Zumwalt says that he had admired Kissinger. In the conversation on the train, Kissinger told Zumwalt that, in his, Kissinger's opinion, the United States is "Athens to the Soviets' Sparta," and that in the long run, the U.S. is going to lose to the Russians just as Athens lost to Sparta. It is therefore his, Kissinger's job, to negotiate the best possible second-place finish with the russians, recognizing that in the long run, we are going to lose. This greatly unsettled Zumwalt, and turned him into a Kissiger opponent." Comment on Slate to a Hitchens diatribe about Kissinger.