Skip to comments.The consequences of announcing a timeline for withdrawal in Afghanistan
Posted on 07/20/2010 6:37:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Unconvinced of the United States' staying power in Afghanistan, Karzai is seeking a rapprochement with the Taliban movement, with the ultimate goal of drawing it into the political process. But his overtures have raised alarm among those who fear such a result could realign power along ethnic lines.
The Taliban movement is drawn almost solely from Afghanistan's largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns. And leaders of the country's other significant minorities - Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras - are worried they may be left out in the cold as Karzai moves to woo insurgents and consolidate his base of support among fellow Pashtuns.
"I think Karzai feels that his power is not 100% stable anymore, and for that reason, he needs to reach out to the armed opposition," said lawmaker Shukria Barakzai. "That seems to be the motivation."
It is a change in strategy for the Afghan leader who, last summer, sought reelection by trying to forge alliances across the ethnic spectrum. But massive election fraud tainted his victory, and in his weakened state, he has found himself unable to deliver on campaign promises.
Some of those allies are now distancing themselves - or breaking outright with the Afghan leader. This month, the influential Hazara politician Haji Mohammed Mukhaqiq, a onetime backer, delivered a blistering condemnation of Karzai at a rally, calling his presidency illegitimate.
Just what Afghanistan needs at this moment in history; and ethnic conflict. It's just one more unintended consequence of Obama's shortsighted and dangerous decision to announce America's withdrawal a year ahead of time and not based on any developments on the ground.
Since it worked out so well in Vietnam, our brilliant Overlords decided to try it again.