From Kabul to the Oval Office

July 27th, 2016

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Daniel Patrick Moynihan is often quoted as saying that “you can have your own opinion, but not your own facts.”  This is as true in looking at the world, as it is here at home.  There are  lots of opinions about the US role and US actions in the world, specifically the Middle East.  However, facts come first.  And part of those facts include an understanding of the people, the history and the nuance of the region.  Our domestic politics has debates every day about who best understands the American people...we conduct our global affairs with a similar understanding of others?

When it comes to the Middle East in general, or to Afghanistan, to Iraq and even our international policy architecture in the post war era, few understand the people, the history and the nuance better than Zalmay Khalilzad. He’s served four Presidents and has traveled from a small village in Afghanistan to the pinacle of the Oval Office.  He tells that story in The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House, My Journey Through a Turbulent World

My conversation with Zalmay Khalilzad: