Corruption that besets Afghan Government is headache for White House: report
ck Obamas visit to Kabul was an extraordinary end to a momentous week in his presidency, after the passage of health reform legislation, an arms control deal with Russia and his firm stance in talks with Israels Prime Minister.
President Obama arrived in Kabul with his presidency recharged and reinvigorated, but he and his aides remain clear-eyed about the challenges that lie ahead in Afghanistan threats that could yet undo him.
The trip came at a critical juncture after the surge of 40,000 new US troops and with a joint offensive with the Afghan Army in the Talibans Kandhar homeland expected.
After the disputed election that returned President Karzai to office last year, there are still concerns in Washington about the corruption that besets the Afghan Government, about the trade in opium and about whether Mr Karzai is willing, or able, to help to take on the drug traffickers and the Taleban insurgency.
Reporters were briefed en route that the prime aim of the visit was for the President to engage Mr Karzai. General James Jones, the US National Security Adviser, said Mr Obama would make clear to his Afghan counterpart that performance had to improve. The idea was to convey to Mr Karzai that the Presidents commitment to Afghanistan was conditional on the central governments performance. Travelling with General Jones were other top officials from the national security team, and joining meetings after a session between President Obama and Mr Karzai was General Stanley McChrystal, the US ground commander. He has repeatedly said that the war cannot be won without effective Afghan governance.(The Times)