I just finished interviewing Greg Mortenson, the co-author of “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools.” I have tremendous admiration for him and his work building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan and I have written an extensive story for Saturday's paper.
But I didn't have enough space to include all of the topics we discussed, including this fascinating one: His changing perception of America's military.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
“In 'Three Cups of Tea,' I was fairly critical of the military. I said they were all laptop warriors. … But my opinion of the military has really changed. The military really gets it. …
“Because many of our troops have been on the ground three or four times, of all of our government entities, the military understands and has an awareness of respecting the elders and building relationships and listening to the people. There has been a huge learning curve.”
In fact, the military sought him out as an adviser on how to effectively build relationships with the Afghan people.
He'll be speaking at Gonzaga University on Monday at 7 p.m. Tickets available through TicketsWest.