[Guest post by DRJ]
Barack Obama promised to renew and rebuild America’s alliances throughout the world. Now, 18 months after he took office, our relationship with Afghanistan has never looked worse because of his deteriorating relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai:
“The president [Hamid Karzi] has lost his confidence in the capability of either the coalition or his own government to protect this country,” Mr. Saleh said in an interview at his home. “President Karzai has never announced that NATO will lose, but the way that he does not proudly own the campaign shows that he doesn’t trust it is working.”
Wars and allies are sometimes thrust upon us. Like him or not, Karzai’s support is vital to winning in Afghanistan but Obama has alienated him and is now stuck trying to climb back to where he began 18 months ago. Meanwhile, the war in Afghanistan has become the longest-ever war America has fought and its monthly costs outpace the War in Iraq. It’s worth it if our leaders are committed to winning but it’s not clear they are.
It’s also interesting to watch President Obama repeatedly try to harange, intimidate and cajole foreign leaders into doing what he wants. It worked domestically. It’s not working as well outside the U.S.