But underlying the tensions (within the Afghan government), according to Mr. Saleh and Afghan and Western officials, was something more profound: That Mr. Karzai had lost faith in the Americans and NATO to prevail in Afghanistan.
For that reason, Mr. Saleh and other officials said, Mr. Karzai has been pressing to strike his own deal with the Taliban and the country's archrival, Pakistan, the Taliban's longtime supporter. According to a former senior Afghan official, Mr. Karzai's maneuverings involve secret negotiations with the Taliban outside the purview of American and NATO officials.
"The president 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."
He is having secret meetings with the enemy?!? Has he lost faith in us so much that he feels that he must ingratiate himself with the side that he sees will be the eventual victors? Can you tell me why he has started losing faith in our victory? Hmmmm:
People close to the president say he began to lose confidence in the Americans last summer, after national elections in which independent monitors determined that nearly one million ballots had been stolen on Mr. Karzai's behalf. The rift worsened in December, when President Obama announced that he intended to begin reducing the number of American troops by the summer of 2011.
"Karzai told me that he can't trust the Americans to fix the situation here," said a Western diplomat in Kabul, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He believes they stole his legitimacy during the elections last year. And then they said publicly that they were going to leave."
So, basically, the promise of withdrawing of troops by a certain deadline that Obama made in order to please his lefty base has resulted in not only the Taliban being emboldened, but it has, also, deflated the confidence and the desire for democracy that some in Afghanistan once had. Who woulda thunk it? Republicans and the military have been warning Obama about setting timetables because of exactly this reason. We can't half-ass this war and expect to win it. If we do, the American lives that have been lost, so far, would've been lost for nothing.
I wonder if this could have been somehow avoided. Did they have any prior warning of Karzai's waning allegiances?
Relations with Mr. Karzai have been rocky for some time, and international officials have expressed concern in the past that his decision making can be erratic. Last winter, Mr. Karzai accused NATO in a speech of ferrying Taliban fighters around northern Afghanistan in helicopters. Earlier this year, following criticism by the Obama administration, Mr. Karzai told a group of supporters that he might join the Taliban.
"HE MIGHT JOIN THE TALIBAN"?!? They knew this months ago?!? Why hasn't Obama done what needs to be done to win back the trust of a very important ally in the region and someone who is crucial to a successful campaign in Afghanistan? It is, as if, Obama doesn't truly care about a victory. Perhaps, his lack of dedication and attention is exactly why Karzai feels the need to ally himself with the enemy because Obama's heart isn't in it, and if you can't beat them, join them.
How bad could a secret alliance in between Karzai and the Taliban be?
In the interview, Mr. Saleh said he took offense at the exclusion. His primary job is to understand the Taliban, he said; leaving his agency off the commission made him worry that Mr. Karzai might intend to release hardened Taliban fighters.
"His conclusion is - a lot of Taliban have been wrongly detained, they should be released," Mr. Saleh said. "We are 10 years into the collapse of the Taliban - it means we don't know who the enemy is. We wrongly detain people."
This would completely undermine our efforts in Afghanistan and could be the turning point to our defeat, if we're not careful. We lost Vietnam, in part, because the South Vietnamese government and people lost their desire to fight their own people, even if it was for their freedom. That same thing could happen, today, if Obama doesn't do anything to turn this thing around. What could he do? He could meet with Karzai daily and reassure him of the strength of our resolve. He should rescind his order to withdraw troops next summer. This show the Taliban that we are in it to win it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Obama really cares about winning.