President Hamid Karzai er ikke på bølgelengde med Obama, og det reiser mange spørsmål om fremtiden. USA har hatt 1.000 drepte og bruker 73 milliarder dollar der bare i år. USA vil gjerne ha noe igjen.
Men Karzai har mange hensyn å ta og er svært nærtagende. Men han har ikke råd til å antagonisere USA slik han nå har gjort ved flere anledninger. Han kan heller ikke fortsette å bagatellisere anklager mot guvernører, deriblant hans egen bror, om korrupsjon og narkohandel.
From the start Karzai has not known what to make of Obama but he believes the US president did not want him to win re-election last August. He reacted to a recent White House snub by inviting to Kabul President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, who gave a fiery anti-American speech.
Karzai has seen himself described as «mad» and «paranoid» in the US media, which have also carried reports that America wants to put his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, an alleged drug dealer, on a death list.
Erfarne Christina Lamb skriver fra Washinton:
How on earth has this happened? I have known Karzai for 23 years and while he is erratic, with mood swings, he is not mad. He is an extremely proud Afghan, answering to a nation that has defeated all its occupiers and which does not trust the Americans, having been abandoned by them before.
Appeasing both the international community and his own Pashtun tribe, which bears the brunt of fighting in southern and eastern Afghanistan, is a balancing act for which he may not be sufficiently skilled.
Since he is isolated behind high walls and seven layers of security in a palace where many of his predecessors were murdered, it is hardly surprising if he is paranoid.
Sycophantic courtiers feed him rumour and a daily digest of the foreign press with anything negative highlighted in yellow.
Unlike President George W Bush, who called Karzai his buddy and held monthly video conferences with him, Obama has distanced himself. He made his first visit to Kabul as president last week, flying for 26 hours to give Karzai a 25-minute lecture on corruption.
The Karzai family has now hit back, accusing US officials of launching a smear campaign as a prelude to abandoning the country again. «There’s a very bad policy developing towards Afghanistan,» said the president’s brother Mahmoud Karzai, a businessman who lives in Kabul. «They want to discredit the Afghan government in the eyes of the US public. I hope it’s not the beginning of an exit strategy. If it is, God help us, it will be very bad — don’t they remember what happened when they did this before in the Eighties?»
The biggest sticking point is Ahmed Wali, who runs the family interests in Kandahar and is believed to be a drug dealer. US officials have reportedly said he must be removed before a battle for control of the province.
«They say he is a drug dealer but we’ve never been shown any evidence,» Mahmoud said. «The idea that Ahmed Wali should be removed is generated by those who want to hand over Kandahar to the Taliban.»
As for the Afghan president’s reported threat to join the Taliban if the West kept attacking him, Mahmoud said: «It’s impossible. The Taliban would not allow him.» It is often forgotten that Karzai was once the Taliban’s chief fundraiser.
Det spørs om anklagene om bakvaskelse biter på Obama. Karazai har spilt dette kortet flere ganger og nå irriterer det bare. Han må levere.