The Mortenson Case, and a Deeper Problem

by Bing West

Any American desirous of embracing a philanthropist and enriching him — as in the case of the author of Three Cups of Tea — faces, of course, the ever-present danger of being deceived. More disquieting, though, was the wrongheaded enthusiasm of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and other generals for a philosophy of swords-into-plowshares that undercut the warrior ethos the very same general officers were expected to imbue in our troops. Afghanistan was the wrong war for a strategy of drinking three cups of tea, or for creating a Great Society in the middle of tribes hurtling headlong into the ninth century.

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