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FGV-RJ 2012

AFGHANISTAN
By Dexter Filkins
 Afghanistan’s leaders are still known more for their criminality and incompetence than for their ability to govern. After spending years pushing President Hamid Karzai to crack down on corruption in his government, the Americans and their NATO partners have largely given up. Last year, Afghan prosecutors were prepared to indict as many as two dozen officials on corruption charges. But the arrest of a single Presidential aide last July was a fiasco – after Karzai publicly objected, the aide was released and the charges against him dropped. Since then, not one senior Afghan official has been brought to justice. Many of the best public-corruption prosecutors have been harassed or
reassigned. Support for the Taliban insurgents is often a reaction against the venality of Afghanistan’s leaders.

 

 And then there is President Karzai himself, who appears to be increasingly estranged not only from his NATO allies but also from reality. For years, American officials put up with Karzai’s excesses and even apologized for them; in so doing, they encouraged him to become more and more delusional. In a speech earlier this month, Karzai suggested to an audience of his countrymen that NATO forces were using nuclear weapons in Afghanistan, and accused them of killing innocent civilians and damaging the environment. He said of the Americans, “They have come to our country for their own goals and interests, and they are using our country.”

 

 It will not be difficult to say goodbye to a man like this. But what of the thirty million other Afghans? The premise that anchored counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan – and in Iraq – was never explicitly humanitarian. The idea was that America could succeed only by helping these countries find a way to stand on their own. Otherwise, the places would collapse, and we’d have to go back. In Iraq, after many years of bloodshed, the Americans seem to have found a formula for maintaining rudimentary stability. In Afghanistan, after years of mismanagement and neglect, we manifestly have not. The country remains riddled with violence, and negotiations with the Taliban – a last-resort option – have led nowhere. It is not hard to imagine a repeat of the Afghan civil war, which engulfed
the country after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union, and which ultimately gave rise to the Taliban. Bloodied but unbroken, the Taliban hardly seem like an army preparing to beg for peace. Their leaders greeted Obama’s words with a swift promise: ”Our armed struggle will increase.”
adapted from THE NEW YORKER JULY 4, 2011


adapted from THE NEW YORKER JULY 4, 2011

 

According to the information in the article,
 

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