Is Karzai trying to lose war with Taliban?
In his latest act of ingrate treachery, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered US Special Forces out of Wardak Province, the back door to Kabul. His demand came two weeks after he halted US close air support for the Afghan National Army, crippling his own military’s capabilities.
And that came atop multiple incidents when “our man in Kabul” blamed US troops for everything that went wrong in his wretched country.
That’s what you get for $600 billion these days. Without our support and protection, Karzai would have been swinging from a lamp post years ago — just as his predecessor Najibullah did in 1996. But stuck in our strategic battered-wife syndrome, we’ve continued to make excuses every time Karzai lashed out at us.
The decisive point came in 2009, when we let him steal the presidential election, discrediting all our rhetoric about democracy and the rule of law. After that, Karzai must’ve figured he had us by the “stacking swivel,” as my drill sergeant used to say.
And Karzai was right. Two thousand American troops have died to keep in power an unscrupulous incompetent who isn’t even grateful. And Karzai is confident that we’ll keep the money flowing after we leave. Meanwhile, he appears to be cutting deals with side-jumping tribal chieftains, fence-sitters and our outright enemies to ensure his own survival.
Which brings us back to that order to remove our Special Forces from a key province. Our special operators have been by far the most effective tool we’ve had on the ground in Afghanistan. While the tactics forced on our other troops left them easy targets for roadside bombs and assassins, the SFers built the only counterinsurgency programs that worked.
With Karzai’s Afghan National Police hated for their corruption and unreliability, our Green Berets built village militias — neighborhood policing, frontier-style. They empowered locals to protect themselves. Unsurprisingly, the locals liked it.
Karzai resisted the program: The National Police were under his control, but not those village self-defense forces. Solution? Trumped-up charges that Afghanelements associated with our troops engaged in torture and kidnapping.
Although NATO and US investigations found zero evidence of such activities, it served Karzai as a lever to neuter both our most effective troops and those pesky militias.
Who benefits? Karzai apparently thinks he does, but the real winners are the Taliban, who were losing ground in Wardak.
...I think it is a mistake to waste blood and treasure on someone as incompetent as Karzai. He has now become an ungrateful product of Obama's retreat from the war and he is destroying the effectiveness of the troops who will remain.