Nation Building Is Hard

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The administration has not proved very successful at the non-military elements of power, as the back and forth over how to deal with President Hamid Karzai demonstrates. Given President Obama’s timeline, we should have very aggressive efforts underway to diversify and institutionalize political power in Afghanistan. Instead we have been complicit in widespread electoral fraud -- twice -- and we have put just enough pressure on President Karzai to alienate him without achieving meaningful change in his behavior. - Kori Schake

Naturally, but finding other Afghans with the capacity and desire to lead - much less the capacity and desire to lead in a direction America finds acceptable - is hard. Maybe even impossible before 2014. That's why staking your war aims on some kind of political transformation in the country is foolhardy.

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