Looks like Hamid Karzai is making the rounds today saying that the US must be patient if Afghanistan isn’t ready for a security handover on Obama’s timetable.  Ultimately, he’s trying to shift the focus of the debate back to an open-ended one, saying the US isn’t going anywhere until Afghanistan is safe, rather than using the time he has to make it as safe as possible.

The distinction is important: Karzai should see the US’s surge as giving him 18 months of significant strength, and he should plan to make the most of it during that time.  Instead, he wants to frame it as being open-ended, giving him the incentive to squander the surge during those 18 months so he could keep the troops around longer, using Afghanistan’s poor security situation as a means for keeping the US around to bolster his government.

And let’s be clear here: with all the allegations of corruption surrounding the Afghanistan government after the last election, he knows how much he needs the US to keep things stable.  So instead of focusing on what Afghanistan needs, he’s focusing on what he needs.

Although I personally believe in what the US is doing in Afghanistan, I will be very happy when we’re no longer there.

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