Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Collateral Damage

I guess we know why Afghan president Karzai has been so vocal in condemning our rare killings of innocents as we fight to safeguard Afghanistan's new and fledgling democracy. He wanted to use our resulting defensiveness as an opportunity to send a figurative missile into the hovel of rule of law that is Afghanistan these days:

Afghanistan's president has raised concern he's reneging on promises to clean up corruption by taking control of a formerly independent body that monitors election fraud, complicating Obama administration efforts to erode support for the Taliban.

It was nicely timed with McChrystal's televised apology for inflicting civilian casualties during our recent operations centered on Marjah.

To be fair, we are fighting to keep Afghanistan from being a threat to us and not to personally preserve Karzai's rule. So Karzai's action does not erase our reasons for fighting.

But his action does make it just a little more difficult to justify our continued sacrifices there.

Come on, is it really a good idea to try to build a centralized government when Karzai is at the center? Decentralize our efforts to minimize the mischief the center can make for the provinces.