Best Defense

David Wood is even more worried about Afghanistan

And that means you start chewing on your fingernails, too: … the U.S. strategy rests on an undemocratic, corrupt and weak central government, a president who cheated his way into office in an election held under American supervision, an election that even the government of Afghanistan concedes was stolen. The script couldn’t have been improved ...

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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - NOVEMBER 3: Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses a press conference at the Presidential Palace on November 3, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Re-elected Karzai promised his new government would stop corruption and engage with Taliban insurgents, (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

And that means you start chewing on your fingernails, too:

… the U.S. strategy rests on an undemocratic, corrupt and weak central government, a president who cheated his way into office in an election held under American supervision, an election that even the government of Afghanistan concedes was stolen. The script couldn’t have been improved if Taliban chieftain Mullah Omar had put himself to the task.

Can this get any worse?

What I’m hearing today from some of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan is: uh-oh. . . . For the Taliban, Karzai’s assumption of a second presidential term validates their argument that the U.S.-backed government in Kabul is terminally corrupt and must be overthrown; re-energized, they will recruit and fight harder.”

Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1

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