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The Disconnect
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By Rob Meltzer
Jan. 21, 2014 5:13 p.m.



I’ve been reading Carter Malkasian’s book War Comes to Garmser; Thirty Years of Conflict on the Afghan Frontier. Malkasian’s biography on the back tells us that he “spent nearly two years in Garmser district as the political officer working for the US Department of State from 2009-2011. A Pashto speaker, he lived in a Marine outpost but spent most of his time with Afghans…He has interviewed hundreds of Afghans about war, their district, and its history, including forty or so Taliban.”

Malkasian does not come across as the Ugly American. By any standard, he is an expert in his field and he is persuasive. Great book.

One of the comments you hear about this book is the following question: why isn’t the expertise filtering up to the top to be translated into policy? The disconnect is mighty huge, and it suggests that the current Regime, so top heavy with cronies, simply refuses to listen to people who really know–expertise is trumped by arrogance. Since it seems to be happening in just about every country in the world, and perhaps in every county in America, it shows once again the gap between the Regime and the rest of the planet.

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