Confronting Karzai

It seems an indispensable step toward salvaging anything from Afghanistan. I fear Obama's attempt to recommit to the war in that godforsaken "country" may be his biggest error in the next four years. Joe Klein explains why to anyone who doesn't know what a history book is. A telling anecdote about "the daily frustrations of Armour's job: training Afghan police officers":

Almost all the recruits were illiterate. "They've had no experience at learning," Armour said. "You sit them in a room and try to teach them about police procedures they start gabbing and knocking about. You talk to them about the rights of women, and they just laugh." A week earlier, five Afghan police officers trained by Armour were murdered in their beds while defending a nearby checkpoint possibly by other police officers. Their weapons and ammunition were stolen. "We're not sure of the motivation," Armour said. "They may have gone to join the Taliban or sold the guns in the market."

There's a difference between knowing hope and denying reality.