Monday, November 15, 2010

Afghanistan Quagmire Watch

Gen. Petraeus' feelings are apparently quite hurt over Hamid Karzai's publicly stated wish to reduce the number of American troops and scale back their activities in Afghanistan. The Washington Post quotes a NATO official: "'It's pretty clear that you no longer have a reliable partner in Kabul,' the official added. 'I think we tried to paper it over with [Karzai's] Washington visit' in May. 'But the wheels have becoming looser and looser . . . since that.'"

But Karzai hasn't been a reliable partner for a very, very long time. If you go back and look at Gen. Stanley McChrystal's memo that preceded the current surge of troops, it's clear that corruption in Karzai's government was a major factor in the recent successes of the Taliban. It's why I didn't support the surge, because there was no pathway to making Karzai an honest and good leader of his people. There still isn't. Why NATO officials would act surprised by that is perplexing.

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