May 13th, 2010
09:10 AM ET
4 years ago

Analysis: U.S. has no choice but to work with Karzai, for now

Hamid Karzai will visit Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday.
Hamid Karzai will visit Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday.

Washington (CNN) – Six weeks ago in Kabul, President Obama struggled to find something positive to say about his host, Afghan President Hamid Karzai. U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones was far less diplomatic, saying his boss wanted Karzai to understand "that in his second term, there are certain things that have not been paid attention to, almost since Day One."

That frosty visit was followed by weeks of hostility between Washington and Kabul, during which Karzai made a string of anti-Western comments.

He blamed the West for corruption in Afghanistan, accused the U.S. and its allies of fraud in the election that kept him in power and even threatened to join the Taliban if the international community continued to pressure his administration.

An incensed White House threatened to cancel this week's visit. Yet there were no visible tensions Tuesday when Hillary Clinton welcomed Karzai to the State Department for several days of talks including military, defense, diplomatic and intelligence chiefs from both countries, and meetings with President Obama.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Hamid Karzai • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. johnnyhouse

    There is a choice. Pull our troops out if he decides that the poppy crop is more important. We are keeping up the biggest heroin producing nation in the world. Our weirdos here who buy the stuff is the finance end that keep the Taliban in business. All the money that is being sent out of this country from businesses run in this country by terrorist organizations buy bullets i.e.d's to kill our soldiers. Remember this is the good war. This is the Democrats war.We are supposedly in the right place now.This is all we heard for 8 years about where the real war was. We are obligated to support out troops but we are not obligated to support an inept government that is letting this slick leader of Aghfanistan lead us by the nose.

    May 13, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Bush pampered, praised and paid Karzai instead of holding his feet to the fire. I don't believe Karzai is to be trusted but we've got nothing better.

    May 13, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Karzai is another one of the many corrupt gifts that Bush gave us to deal with.

    May 13, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He is the elected (albit somewhat contested) leader of the country. We can't fund every NGO that will help the country. We must also show some confidence in the central government which includes Karzai.

    May 13, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. stevegee

    We went to Afghanistan after 9/11 because that's where the Taliban was harboring Osama and Al-Qaeda - we attacked them, disrupted and dispersed their operations, and removed them from power. Mission accomplished!

    Now it's time to get out! That country will never be a democracy - for thousands of years it's been the land of tribes, and that's what it will be for eternity.

    Bring our troops home.

    May 13, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Sensible Cape Coral FL

    Talking is better than warring, although some hyper patriots will not agree. So what else is new?

    May 13, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Jerry

    i would suggest we start bombing the poppy fields to get their immediate attention.

    May 13, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. Bill from GA

    We may have to work with Karzai, but we don't have to tolerate his corruption. Our support should have strings attached; if he wants to go to the Taliban, let him look over his shoulder all the time.

    It may well be that the people in Afghanistan resent Karzai's corruption, and tolerance for corruption in his underlings, more than the totalitarian ways of the Taliban.

    May 13, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. jeff jackson, alabama

    If we are responsible for the corruption
    in Afghanistan today...who was
    responsible for the corruption in
    Afghanistan for last one thousand
    years ?
    If we are responsible for terrorism in
    that part of the world now....who was
    responsible for it for the last 1400
    years ?
    This crap of blaming the United States
    for all the problems that existed hundreds
    of years before we became a nation is
    ridiculous and it's getting mighty old.

    May 13, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Steve- Illinois

    "In his inaugural address Karzai promised to fight corruption, improve governance and fight opium trafficking, which fuels the insurgency. Six months later, U.S. officials say he hasn't shown substantial progress."

    That's hilarious!!! 18 months after Obama takes office, there has been no substantial progress on unemployment, lobbyists, earmarks, immigration reform ( not amnesty, big difference) etc. etc.

    The pot calling the kettle black!

    May 13, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Since we are picking up the pieces from the Bush/Cheney negligence in the REAL war – versus the lies about Iraq – we don't have a choice to back a questionable leader.

    Also this is a result of the chaos from the long bitter fighting between the Soviets and U.S. – backed Islamic fundamentalists during the Cold War.

    May 13, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |