"The Afghan president's erratic behavior and the corruption of his closest allies are big problems, especially if Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid has it right that he has become "decidedly anti-Western." Even so, Karzai's critics usually stumble on the question, "If not Karzai, then who?"
This is the wrong question to ask. Karzai represents a major obstacle mainly because the new Afghan state was born with a fatal flaw -- a presidency that dominates the national and provincial governments. Numerous assessments, dating back to the process that generated Afghanistan's current Constitution, have lamented the fact that Karzai faces too few checks and balances and too few mechanisms for building and maintaining a national consensus. Afghanistan's true problem is its government's structure, not the personality flaws of its leader.
Many new democracies, especially those born in post-civil war conditions, write constitutions with strong parliaments so that former combatants can share power in the national government. Many select federal systems so that provincially elected leaders have a voice in the management of their internal affairs. Afghanistan has neither of these features, and it shows
And so, over the course of the past year, we have witnessed an assiduous U.S. campaign to build a better partnership with Karzai. That effort persists. Obama's itinerary in Afghanistan Dec. 3 included a conversation with Karzai, reportedly to address their latest bout of tensions."
"In the best-case scenario, a weak government in Kabul will still be totally dependent on foreign aid, especially to pay its overdeveloped military, and it won't control more than the big cities and some roads. And the Taliban will keep control of the Pashtun countryside—at a minimum—where they are currently building a shadow state"
During the November NATO summit in Lisbon, NATO and Afghanistan leaders agreed that the end of combat operations should be in 2014 after the completion of a phased transfer of security responsibility to Afghan forces. But leaders admit that there will be a continuous presence of foreign troops in an advisory role. Will the new time frame and strategy achieve results?
So, even though the war is justified in Washington by the risk of al-Qaeda coming back to Afghanistan, it's obvious that the group will have a sanctuary, as the Taliban will retain power in large portions of the country. This means that the new strategy—even in the most optimistic outcome—will not protect U.S. interests. Only a negotiated settlement with the insurgents could achieve American objectives, but, so far, the political cost in Washington of "surrender" is perceived to be too high.
And this is the best-case scenario. The most likely course of events will look quite different. The dissymmetry between the European and the American commitments at the Lisbon summit was quite clear. On the one hand, whatever the situation is on the ground, it's clear that the Europeans will be out of Afghanistan in four years—or earlier. On the other, the U.S. commitment is now open-ended. This point is not a mere nuance, it's incredibly important.
Contrary to the rosy narrative often heard in Washington, 2010 has been an excellent year for the insurgents. They made significant gains in the North and the East and their morale is excellent, as demonstrated by the failure of the Karzai government to entice insurgents toward its leadership. In addition, Pakistan's support for the Taliban has never been more active. This is partially due to the feeling in Pakistan that the United States is definitively moving toward India."
Which causes the extension of terror to expand
Suicide bombers kill 50 in Pakistan
The attack targets a meeting between leaders of an anti-Taliban militia and a top official in the Afghan-border region of Mohmand. More than 120 are injured."
"One of the reasons the attacks were so deadly was because the bombers had filled their suicide jackets with bullets, said Amjad Ali Khan, the top political official in Mohmand, who was at the compound in Ghalanai town when it was attacked."
“These bullets killed everyone who was hit,” said Khan.
Both of the bombers were disguised in tribal police uniforms, said Khan. One of them was caught at the gate of the compound, but he was able to detonate his explosives, he said."
"militias' defiance has made them the regular targets of Taliban attacks. Last month, a bombing aimed at a lashkar in another town in the region, Darra Adam Khel, killed more than 60 people"
"The scattered acts of terrorism reflect that there is no collective stand against the terrorists at the political level," Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for Khyber-Pakhtunwha province, which borders the tribal areas, told reporters Monday.
"Therefore, the terrorists are succeeding in their attempts."
So therefore focus on the improved position to the "estate" of the little horn the May 15th Prophecy have shown you with 100% accuracy
A stronger Iran returns to nuclear talks in Geneva
"Iran is pushing forward with 20 percent enrichment. They're pushing forward with their own fuel manufacture."
If reducing Iran's capacity to get a nuclear bomb was a concern, the delayed diplomacy and Iran's inability to secure 20 percent fuel from any other source "have so far given Iran a reason [to go] for higher enrichment, putting it closer to a bomb,"
Barzashka adds. Iran has already produced about 33 kg of the higher-grade material; if it were able to get the fuel, it would have no reason to enrich to that level."
"Sanctions don't push back the nuclear clock, but 20 percent enrichment actually pushes that [clock] forward,"
Few analysts believe that sanctions, the default US policy toward Iran for decades, will change Tehran's nuclear calculus.
"If the US is serious [about] a diplomatic solution, it must recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium on its soil and accept Iran's indispensability for maintaining stability in the Persian Gulf," wrote Barzegar in the latest issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "Iran, in turn, will reciprocate by agreeing to more rigorous inspections by the IAEA to [demonstrate] the peaceful nature of its nuclear program."
For 100% accuracy on what will happen next, read the May 15th Prophecy written at LastDayWatchers
Bombs kill 2 kids playing outside home in Iraq
"BAGHDAD (AP) — Two young children were killed and two of their siblings were hurt in eastern Iraq Monday when a bomb went off near the home their family had just reclaimed after fleeing it years ago under threat from al-Qaida, a police spokesman said.
The four children were playing outside the house when the bomb went off, Diyala province police spokesman Maj. Ghalib al-Karkhi said. A 6-year-old and an 8-year-old were killed and the two wounded children were 10 and 12.
The Shiite Muslim family returned in October to their home in Baqouba, 35 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad. He said they were part of an exodus of Shiites who left in 2007 when Sunni extremists with al-Qaida in Iraq controlled the area and threatened to kill those who stayed.
"Al-Qaida used to send threatening letters to these families," al-Karkhi said.
Separately, al-Karkhi said a bomb hidden on the car of an Iraqi army officer killed him and injured his wife and two children in Jalula, about 80 miles (125 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad.
Attacks on Iraqi security forces have become commonplace as the U.S. military prepares to leave the country by the end of 2011."