I have had it to HERE with all the talk about Hamid Karzai. Face it: we’re stuck with him. And because we’re stuck with him, we better figure out why things aren’t working. Corruption is too simple an answer, and misses a much more important aspect to his failed tenure as President. I explain for the AfPak Channel:
Karzai also has very real constituencies at home to which he must appeal. He’s representing a population that is growing increasingly disillusioned with Western promises and actions. The Taliban is making steady progress in affecting vast swaths of territory. There is incredible pressure in Kabul to negotiate some sort of end to the fighting — and not necessarily on terms the U.S. wants to see. Karzai only has two real bargaining chips: political influence, and money. When the United States installed him in Kabul in 2002, no one considered Hamid Karzai a particularly corrupt individual — certainly not by Afghan standards. But to fulfill the duties of his office, Karzai had no choice but to trade money and money-making positions to get even minimal results.
There’s more – lots more – so read it and get back to me.