Afghan President Hamid Karzai may be unfamiliar with the Western proverb, "be careful what you wish for." His bi-polar rants lambasting NATO and American forces as virtual occupiers and war criminals surely have made US President Obama's decision on a significant troop withdrawal even easier.
The expected drawdown of American troops from the Afghan surge is going ahead. At least 30,000 troops are headed home from the frontier by sometime in 2012. Many more are likely to depart by 2014.
Karzai's government has had 18 months to get its' act together. Even more important than making the army the backbone of the state, Karzai was supposed to tackle corruption and start delivering real services to all Afghans within government-controlled areas.
No one said it was going to be easy. But no one was realistically hoping for Afghanistan to transform into Denmark overnight, either (Bolivia or Congo would have been a significant step up). That said, the government has largely failed in its goals. It is not seen as legitimate, or even necessarily preferrable to the Taliban, in the contested areas. Making things worse, Karzai has personally alienated his international allies on countless occasions with wild conspiracy...More >>