Michael Crowley tries to stay positive:
I just heard Abdullah on NPR and he was trashing Karzai, saying that the president bore the blame for the chaos of the past eight years. So, Obama may be forced to carry on with an illegitimate partner in Kabul. That is a fundamental taboo of counterinsurgency doctrine. But that illegitimacy doesn't have to be permanent. If Karzai can make some quick and visible shows of reform, the situation could be salvageable. It's also worth recalling that the Maliki government in Iraq wasn't particularly legitimate when the surge began, either. There may be hope yet.
Where to begin? The surge has failed in Iraq to create the national unity it was designed to achieve; and its security achievements are just not replicable in Afghanistan. Expecting Karzai to reform now when he is in a civil war and just defeated his opponent makes no sense at all. Enormous pressure on him for years made no discernible difference.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.