How the U.S. military fell in love with ‘Three Cups of Tea’ - The Washington Post:
"Much of the military’s belief in tea culture can be traced back to Greg Mortenson and his memoir, “Three Cups of Tea,” a book touted by top commanders and devoured by younger officers.
But Mortenson has recently had to fend off allegations that big chunks of his memoir, which chronicles his work to build schools in some of the most remote and violent areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, are lies. Both “60 Minutes” and writer Jon Krakauer have alleged that Mortenson has misused money donated to the charity he formed...
In the near term, Mortenson’s stumble will almost certainly lead to greater soul-searching among officers who have been questioning not only Mortenson but also the broader hearts-and-minds approach of this war. And the controversy is likely to spur more discussion about the limits of American goodwill and influence in a place such as Afghanistan.
“No amount of tea with Afghans will persuade them that we are like them, that our war is their war or that our interests are their interests,” said Michael Miklaucic, a longtime official with the U.S. Agency for International Development who is currently serving at the Pentagon’s National Defense University. “The war in Afghanistan isn’t about persuasion or tea. It is about power.”"