Friday, December 03, 2010

AFGHANISTAN - The Deterioration of Hamid Karzai

"Cables Offer Shifting Portrait of Karzai" by HELENE COOPER and CARLOTTA GALL, New York Times 12/2/2010


Oman’s foreign minister says that he is “losing confidence” in him. A British diplomat says Britain feels “deep frustration” with him, while an Australian official complains that he “ignores reality.” A diplomat from the United Arab Emirates says Afghanistan would be better off without him. NATO’s secretary general speculates that he has a split personality.

The portrait of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan that emerges from a cache of confidential American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations reflects his trajectory from the eager leader anointed by the West to an embattled politician who often baffles, disappoints or infuriates his official allies.

American and foreign diplomats have tried to keep their complaints about Mr. Karzai private. But now, thanks to the cables, there is a more official chronicling — brutally candid views of Mr. Karzai recorded by State Department officials after high-level meetings, detailing the steady deterioration in his reputation in the nine years since he took office.

Anyone who has been tracking the war in Afghanistan does not need WikiLeaks to see what's going on with Karzai, but it's good to know that many others see the problem.

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