From The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/wo...ghanistan.htmlAmerican Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry lashed out at Afghan President Hamid Karzai Sunday in a carefully calculated and candid response to the president’s increasingly inflammatory criticisms against coalition forces in Afghanistan.
“When Americans, who are serving in your country at great cost — in terms of life and treasure — hear themselves compared with occupiers, told that they are only here to advance their own interest, and likened to the brutal enemies of the Afghan people,” the ambassador said, “they are filled with confusion and grow weary of our effort here.”
I strongly agree with the Ambassador. Mr. Karzai's continuing emotional outbursts undercut support among the Afghans for ISAF and they illustrate anew that he remains an unreliable partner. Both factors should be taken into consideration in the strategic review that is expected to be completed in July.
In the end, Mr. Karzai might believe he can substitute opposition for the Coalition among Afghanistan's peoples for the lack of credibility of his regime, hence his regular attacks on ISAF, NATO, and the U.S., but he can't. If ISAF were to depart, his regime would be faced with the prospect of collapse, precisely because it does not enjoy the broad support of Afghanistan's peoples. Rather than demonizing the parties who are doing some of the heaviest lifting in trying to create a more stable Afghanistan, Mr. Karzai should at least try to function as a leader who seeks to bring Afghans together.
As noted repeatedly, I continue to believe the U.S. should de-emphasize the Karzai regime. Its self-interested focus at the expense of building a viable Afghanistan is probably an inherent defect that rests with Mr. Karzai himself. Rather, the U.S. should dramatically shift authority to Afghanistan's various tribal leaders and, in the pursuit of a future coalition government, should allow the tribal leaders a voice equal to Mr. Karzai's in the framework that would lead to such an outcome.