April 3, 2010
WAGGING THE DOG:
Publicly criticizing the Afghan president hurts the U.S. (Michael O'Hanlon and Hassina Sherjan, April 3, 2010, Washington Post)
Just four days after President Obama's surprise visit to Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave a major speech complaining that heavy-handed international actions tarnished last year's presidential election, diminished his legitimate status as clear winner and risked making the foreign military presence resemble the imperialist invaders of yesteryear.
Karzai went too far. His comments were unfair and risked encouraging critics of the Afghanistan mission who want to portray foreign forces as unwelcome. But his remarks were also a predictable result of American browbeating. Historically, negative treatment of the Afghan leader has produced these sorts of reactions. Kabul and Washington are partners in the effort to create a stable, democratic state; they should understand that public displays of rancor are best avoided.
He didn't go nearly far enough. The reality is that the UR is on such thin ice where national security is concerned that Mr. Karzai can make him jump through hoops. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 3, 2010 6:36 AM