The problem is exacerbated by a dramatic drop-off in U.S. expertise on Pakistan. Retired American officials say that, for the first time in U.S. history, nobody with serious Pakistan experience is working in the South Asia bureau of the State Department, on State's policy planning staff, on the National Security Council staff or even in Vice President Cheney's office. Anne W. Patterson, the new U.S. ambassador to Islamabad, is an expert on Latin American "drugs and thugs"; Richard A. Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, is a former department spokesman who served three tours in Hong Kong and China but never was posted in South Asia.
Its Cheney's influence. This kind of needless incompetence and cronyism populated Rajiv Chandrasekeran's book Imperial Life in the Emerald City like baseball hats at a frat party. Putting incompetents in places of high power has become quite the leitmotif: Remember Michael Brown, Harriet Miers, L. Paul Bremer, Rumsfeld, Karen Hughes and of course Alberto Gonzalez and his minions from Pat Robertson's Regnet University Law School.