We Meant Well
Speaker: Peter Van Buren
Friday, September 21
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Former US Foreign Service Officer and author Peter Van Buren provides an eyewitness account of the complex US effort to rebuild Iraq and his own role in “helping lose the battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.”
Peter Van Buren author of We Meant Well an eyewitness account of the civilian side of the surge—that surreal and bollixed attempt to defeat terrorism and win over Iraqis by reconstructing the world we had just destroyed. Leading a State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team on its quixotic mission, Van Buren details, with laser-like irony, his yearlong encounter with pointless projects, bureaucratic fumbling, overwhelmed soldiers, and oblivious administrators secluded in the world’s largest embassy, who fail to realize that you can’t rebuild a country without first picking up the trash.