April 10, 2010

What's Plan B for Afghanistan?

Nikolas Gvosdev, World Politics Review

AP Photo

Is there a method to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's "madness"? At first glance, his recent actions -- including harsh criticism of U.S. policies, a threat to join the Taliban resistance, diplomatic maneuverings in recent visits to Tehran and Beijing, and outreach to former domestic enemies -- might seem "troubling" at best, and "troubled" at worst. But on closer inspection, they all appear to have a logical purpose: to hedge Karzai's bets.

From Karzai's perspective, there are three foreseeable outcomes of the Obama administration's "surge" in Afghanistan -- and only one would be particularly beneficial to his interests. That would be if U.S. and NATO forces, over the next year, largely eliminate the Taliban insurgency, while the corresponding "civilian surge"...

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TAGGED: Hamid Karzai, United States, Afghanistan, Taliban, Tehran, Beijing, President

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