Obama and Karzai – Juan Cole details the struggle

Juan Cole’s post “Karzai Defeats Obama 2-1”, details the negative view the Obama administration has had of Afghan President Karzai (“mercurial and ineffectual”) and their hope of moving him out of power. Cole details the ways in which Karzai has fought back (blatantly stealing the election, reaching out

“to his primary internal enemies, the old-time mujahidin (Gulbadin Hikmatyar’s Islamic Party militia in the Pashtun East and the Haqqani Network of Jalal and Siraj Haqqani) and the Old Taliban of Mulla Omar.”

– people who the US see as almost treasonous since they are involved in killing American military.

Karzai does not like Obama’s “audacious” massive counter-insurgency plan which Cole says has little chance of succeeding. Cole says Karzai was

“lukewarm about the first major demonstration project in Marjah, the success of which is still questionable”

Obama did not like Karzai’s attempts to negotiate with the Taliban and Karzai does not like U.S. plans for an “enormous new military occupation of his own power base in the Pashtun West.”

Cole sites an LA Times article when stating that Obama has backed down on resisting Kabul’s outreach to insurgents but that the military operation in Kandahar will not be delayed.

Excellent post, assists in unrderstanding the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, at least regarding the ‘high level’ to and fro.

Cole concludes with

PBS Newshour has video which is as usual professional. But the title, “Obama, Karzai Renew Pledge to Continue Fight Against Al-Qaida in Afghanistan,” drives me crazy. There is no al-Qaeda to speak of in Afghanistan and that organization is irrelevant to the social and political struggles in that country. Obama himself continues to frame whatever it is he thinks he is doing in that country in those terms, which does not inspire confidence.

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