Despite the overwhelming list of challenges, however, from corruption to an economy dependent on foreign aid, Afghanistan can still experience a successful political transition in 2014. For this to happen, all the stakeholders involved must stop thinking strictly in terms of military means. Afghanistan arrived at this point through a tragic combination of errors, some internal and some external. The initial mistake was to entrust President Karzai with the sacred duty of securing the fate of our embattled nation. His lack of faith in his fellow countrymen is perhaps best exemplified by his request that the CIA, even before he was officially inaugurated as president, provide bodyguards to protect him not from al Qaeda but from the Afghans who helped install him in power. Despite high hopes, he has rarely pursued local support for his policies and alienated many U.S. and international partners with his xenophobic pronouncements, thus tainting any opportunity for genuine leadership.