How will Ahmed Wali Karzai's death affect Afghan stability?
July 12th, 2011
02:23 PM ET

How will Ahmed Wali Karzai's death affect Afghan stability?

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was shot and killed Tuesday, gunned down by a bodyguard in Kandahar. The Taliban say the shooter was on their payroll.

CNN Sr. International Correspondent Nic Robertson weighs in on the relationship between the brothers, how much is known about him and how important he was to the United States and Afghanistan. The following is an edited transcript:

Q: How important was Ahmed Wali Karzai to the United States and to Afghanistan?

Robertson: He was hugely important to his brother, President Hamid Karzai, because really, he was his eyes and ears, his political fixer in the south of the country. So really, for President Karzai, he was a very important stabilizing and controlling figure in the south of Afghanistan, in the Kandahar region.

Certainly, there had been a lot of rumors about him, rumors that he was involved in the drug trade, rumors that he has built military forces that have helped on CIA-led operations inside Afghanistan, and he has certainly never been able to disquiet those rumors. And they have been around now for a number of years. But this is a man who it's very hard to find people in Kandahar who will say a bad word against him.

When I was there asking government officials about him just before Christmas last year, no one would say a bad word about him, which to me, at the time, felt very much like an indication that he was the real strongman in Kandahar. And really, that's the person that he was. Whether or not he was amassing illegal wealth, whether or not he was fixing sort of cronyism-type political deals, he was a real power broker there.

Q: What does that mean for Hamid Karzai, the president?

Robertson: Well, it puts him on a much weaker footing.

I think one of the things that we're going to see happening over the next couple years in Afghanistan - as all parties there realize that U.S. forces, NATO forces are going to draw down - we are going to see Afghans reverting to the sort of conflict that they were having before we got involved there, fighting for control of resources, of different interests within the country, and this could just be part of that bigger picture.

We have seen the police chief in Kandahar killed this year, for example, and Hamid Karzai's brother would certainly fit that picture as being somebody that many people want to get rid of in Afghanistan.

Q: Isn't that worrisome, though, when you've got American troops that are going to be pulling out of Afghanistan. What does this say about the Afghan people's ability to even protect themselves?

Robertson: The situation with him removed is certainly, in the short term, at least, and probably in the medium term, is a destabilized one in Kandahar. With him gone, that will leave the way open for other people to try and sort of flex their muscles, be it political, be it military. And they will try to do that in an environment where there are U.S. troops, where there are NATO troops, and those forces could bear the brunt of that instability.

He was a guy that coalition forces would rely on to sort of be involved in fixing deals. With him gone, those deals aren't going to get fixed, so you're going to have those failed deals spilling out into blood feuds, into fights on the streets, or whatever. It's going to be less stable.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Karzai
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Galoot

    What's next?

    Well...corruption, murder, corruption, raising poppies, corruption, selling heroin, corruption, stabbing the West in the back, corruption, collusion with the Taliban, corruption, collusion with Pakistan, corruption, crime, corruption, sabotaging the welfare of their own country, corruption, etc.

    In other words, nothing will change.

    Oh...and did I mention CORRUPTION?

    July 23, 2011 at 3:05 am | Reply
  2. albatross

    After Walli, it's time to play "Where's Waldo?"

    July 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  3. Sikander

    I think the best way would be to let sharia komm in afghanistan and Pakistan,after that as the ignorant followers say,there will be justice.Ok after that is achieved America and Eorope should cut every ties with them,Hahaha,a quick way to get rid of all these bastards,ofcourse the moderate among them would punished for nothing.Why doesnt the majority of Muslims who are moderate dont get up against mullahs?

    July 14, 2011 at 4:49 am | Reply
  4. Murtaza

    As an afghan myself, I must say the spectrum in regards to difference of opinion in afghanistan is huge. There are communists, islamists, monarchists, newly-formed democratic activists, and people who don't care about anything at all. When one says the people support the Taliban, or they want nato to be there, they are bullsh*tting. No one can speak for the people of Afghanistan, because theres too many differences in opinion amongst us. I would say though that Afghans in general mostly agree they are sick of violence, and that in the past 10 years life hasn't changed much for the ordinary afghan. Thats about the only thing we can agree on as afghans.

    I have a personal opinion though, and I speak for myself, not "afghans" when I say I'm sick of suicide attacks and killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan by the Taliban, as well as "collateral death" of afghan civilians with an insulting compensation of $2,000 (and this is sometimes and maybe)by Nato and US forces. I think the US should leave and fulfill the requirement for the Taliban to sit down and negotiate with the government (Taliban say no talks till US leaves) so that as afghans we can find a peaceful settlement. If the US leaves and the Taliban continue their attacks, they would have lost the trust of the Afghan people, and the tide would turn against them naturally with afghans forming militias to go after Taliban sympathizers overnight.

    July 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  5. kishore tyagi

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    July 13, 2011 at 6:43 am | Reply
  6. desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

    For Taliban, there is only one estrategic reason for this assassination: to wrestle their original capital Kangahar back. If I were in their place, that is exactly what I would do: to remove what stands on the way. As I read the world commentaries on this event, I do not find this obvious conclusion, which tells me that the world think tanks have been bevesbuttheadilized!

    July 13, 2011 at 5:35 am | Reply
  7. zabih "Saalimi"

    whoever he is he is our president hamid karzai 's brother i m regretting his losing..Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live.
    he is a grand lost for his family..

    July 13, 2011 at 3:50 am | Reply
  8. booho

    With a little luck Hamid Karzai will meet the same fate, that scum bag.

    July 13, 2011 at 2:49 am | Reply
    • Scott

      Your support of terrorism is dually noted.

      July 13, 2011 at 3:52 am | Reply
  9. AntiObama

    Well isnt that just great news..It makes nothing but sense what will happen after Troops pull out. So The American people were pretty much right about us pissing away billions again for nothing in return. And how many of our Children have we lost? Thank you Bush and Obama for everything.

    July 13, 2011 at 2:16 am | Reply
    • booho

      Thank Osama bin Laden. Seriously he started the whole thing. One freak'n guy and a troop of rag tag bumble heads.

      July 13, 2011 at 2:50 am | Reply
    • Micheal

      Don't forget the Soviets who invaded Afghanistan, or the CIA who spent over a billion dollars training people like OBL.

      July 13, 2011 at 4:22 am | Reply
  10. Pete

    He was reported as totally corrupt and a major druglord (heroine and opium).
    Only the CIA "loved" him as a paradigm of "our warlord", that is, a useful pawn.
    No need to miss such a piece of s**t. Good riddance.

    July 13, 2011 at 1:03 am | Reply
  11. canada

    muslims kill muslims all the time , its a sport

    July 13, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • Toon

      World war2? How many muslims fought that

      July 13, 2011 at 12:25 am | Reply
      • booho

        You'd be surprised to know that hundreds of thousands fought in that war.

        July 13, 2011 at 2:51 am |
      • Micheal

        Fairly confident more non-Muslims fought than Muslims; wonder what religion were the Japanese?

        July 13, 2011 at 4:25 am |
  12. acherpotle

    such a sad day for Afghan democracy...just when they were making such headway....I will worry about this all weekend over beer and BBQed tofu dogs....such a shame....

    July 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  13. angry jack

    what's ahead? look behind. more of the same. they will kill each other no matter who is right or who is wrong.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  14. Sean Greene

    if my bodygaurd shot me I'd have him fired.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  15. yuri pelhem

    Lets go home. We are murdering our children. And you, dear reader for almost certainly you voted for someone who supports this war. You are an enabler of evil.

    July 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • booho

      Doesn't your religion forbid you to use the internet?

      July 13, 2011 at 2:52 am | Reply
  16. korkea aika

    Good riddance to bad seed.

    July 12, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • S1N

      I had my hopes up. Unfortunately, they should have killed the other Karzai. His brother was much more useful.

      July 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  17. Smokey

    This guy was no saint, to be sure, but he was a useful SOB as they say, he could get things done and there's nobody who can really step into that place. If Governor Wesa can step into that role as fixer, that would be a step in the right direction. But if government support in the south collapses, that would obviously be a prelude to more of the same civil warring that was going on before ISAF came in at all.

    July 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  18. Kabuli

    Robertson as usual blows hard but offers very few insights, "blood in the streets?" THERE ALREADY HAS BEEN BLODD IN THE STREETS PAL! Get out once in awhile when you get down there!

    This guy was a first-class s-bag, propped up by young Agency puppies wherever he went , , , ,

    July 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  19. Ehsan

    People, you dont understand Afghanistan. US has the full support of the Afghan people. Taliban/Al-Qaida are creation of Pakistan and that part of the Paki army that fights without uniform.

    Afghans fought and died with American soldiers since they entered that country. Dont let Taliban make u believe they are representing Afghans...

    July 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
    • Green Knight

      Well said, Ehsan. I find it interesting that our fearless leaders tell us how "complicated" are relationship with Pakistan is - how much we need them. 80% of them condemn the US for killing Bin Laden. They have popular, publically supported laws that support the execution of non-Muslims. It seems that Pakis are not so confused about where they stand in relation to the U.S. and our most sacred ideals and values. On the whole, these people detest everything about us and our way of life. They created and continue to support the Taliban. They provided safe haven for our public enemy number one! How stupid are we (the masses) to buy into this "it's complicated" bull when it's as straight forward as they support our most ruthless and vicious enemies without apology? Some things we make complicated, when in reality, they're all too simple. We're mired in two shadow wars - one against Iran in Iraq and another against Pakistan in Afghanistan. How much time and trouble would we save if we just called a spade a spade?

      July 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Reply
      • Toon

        No, large number of pakistanis choose to condemn US policies because this war on terror has made their country worse and more prone to terror attacks. Thousands of pakistani soldiers and civilians have lost their lives fighting the war. they lived in much more peaceful pakistan before 2001.

        July 13, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Amrullah Yousafzai in Mingora,Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP)

      I bet you're one of those Tajiks who have always been raped by invaders while the brave Pashtuns fought against occupiers.

      Both now and during the Soviet war.

      July 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Reply
      • atal why can't these brave pushtoon (as you say) fight against Punjabis.....You are practically the slaves of Punjbais...

        July 17, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Benito Ambrose Masikini

      I agree, I have some Afghans acquaintances who told me that they support america there and there have been huge improvement there not shown by the media. Taliban is pakistani mercenary. Open your eyes people.

      July 12, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Reply
    • Toon

      You forgot to mention that Pakistan is the same country that helped afghans kick soviets out and gave refuge to 3-5 million afghans. Large number still reside in Pakistan and choose to be 'baghairat'

      July 13, 2011 at 12:05 am | Reply
      • atal

        toon...hadn't you given afghans refuge, Soviets would have attacked you and your name would have been Toonove...or Rahmanove...

        July 13, 2011 at 3:14 am |
    • Josh797

      lolzzzzz....ur hilarious...either your mentally incapable to realize wots going on the ground..or you are totaly a propaganda ranting mouth peice who is a trillion light years away from reality...lolzzzzzz go get a life kid. Your indian @$$ is spilling all over your post. lolzzzz ๐Ÿ˜›

      July 13, 2011 at 3:11 am | Reply
      • atal

        Josh......I am a proud Afghan but i prefer Indians over you! coz you people will do anything for hand over your own bothers to americans for money (Kansi is an example) can harbour terrorist on your soil for money ........Indians will not do guess who is better?.I wish we did not have any border with Pakis.........

        July 16, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  20. jdhartlv

    Maybe the CIA was sending a message??

    July 12, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • Kabuli

      Doubt it. . . these are the same people who brought us the debacle in Khost, more would have been killed apparently but they were getting the bomber's b-day cake?!!

      Read General Flynn's "Blueprint for Fixing Intelligence" to learn more . . . .

      July 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  21. Ehsan

    If the $8000 million is released to Pakistan, more people including US troops in Afghanistan are going to die. Half of the money goes to to Taliban – we all know this.

    July 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
    • Toon

      If you guys can settle your own differences, afganistan would be better place. Blaming others won't change anything. Most of domestic violence and fightings in afghanistan are related to power struggle between hundreds of warlords

      July 13, 2011 at 12:18 am | Reply
    • Toon

      Most of that money is a service fee to Pakistan for using their land to resupply forces in afghanistan. Pakistan suffers the consequences on daily basis

      July 13, 2011 at 12:59 am | Reply
      • atal

        this means you people can do anything for money........even......

        July 13, 2011 at 3:19 am |
      • Toon

        Dont afghans want Nato presence in Afghanistan?

        July 13, 2011 at 3:29 am |
  22. jefffbo

    who cares.

    July 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  23. PJ

    Good riddence!! Money and drugs don't help in the very end. Perhaps the other half brothers will be taken out too.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  24. Bosko

    This may well be the start of Afghan-o-Tet.

    July 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  25. double tap

    take over and boost economy, heroin....keep it out of america, there be a job for the dea,

    July 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • yup

      him and his brother, better off dead, money controls it all

      July 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  26. Brian

    Covert operation? A lot of those Taliban are former mercenaries we hired to fight the Soviets.

    July 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • ?

      the soviets are so stupid, they fought the iranians, and pakistani's in afghanistan, and now they fight the airports....america and them should be killing them all

      July 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • Green Knight

      We all watched "Charlie Wilson's War", Brian. We don't need a history lesson. What we're dealing with here is post-cold war, post-9/11 reality. If your Uncle trained a kid on the block how to defend himself, and years later this same kid grew iup to be a vicious, cold blooded murderer of unarmed men, women, and children - would you justify not doing anything about his terrorizing the neighborhood based on what your older Uncle did, with good intentions, decades before? Or would you man up, face reality as it's presented, and take the punk down hard before he had a chance to attack your friends and family again? Perhaps you would actually feel an added sense of responsibility for making up for your Uncle's original lapse of good judgement? Or you could remain a yellow bellied coward using tired excuses about the past to explain your lack of fortitude and nads to deal effectively with the present.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  27. Soldier 157

    Now it's time to put a bullet in Karzai's head and end his corrupt rule. The only good muslim is one rotting in a grave filled with dead pigs1

    July 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • Rick Brown Jr.

      and your point is that every christian is an alive one living with alive pigs in their house?

      July 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Reply
      • Soldier 157

        Christians aren't pigs only Muslims, the so called prophet Muhammad was a pedophile. Theses ragheads started this mess it's time to end it and send them back to where they came from!! The only good Muslim is a dead one. Are you a Muslim sympathizer or just a filthy Muslim. There is a predator out there with your name on it if you are a filthy Muslim if you are a sympathizer then there is a good old fashioned @%$ whooping awaiting you.

        July 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
      • Mike Robins

        Rick, why do you automatically assume that a Christian is saying that? As a Chrisitan I do not support Islam, but I certainly would not say the things mentioned above.

        July 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • shahb

      The problem is not with Islam , christianity , Judaism or any other religion. I think the problem is pathetic ignorant losers like you. Unfortunately you exist in every religion and every country !

      July 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • Anna Greene

      Soldier – I dont know what religion you belong to but it sure does preach a hate and disgust... none better than a muslim from what you are saying...

      July 12, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • darin

      Racists. Basically they're animals who are territotial and are not smart enough to understand the concept "all men are created equal". They may have been created equal, but they act with inferiority.

      July 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  28. Lejaune

    Karzai government is morally more corrupt than Taliban was. People don't seem outraged by this killing allegedly by Taliban.

    July 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  29. lou50

    more killings, look at the last 1700 years of history. it will continue till they are removed from the planet!

    July 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • ukt87


      July 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  30. Jason

    Who is going to get his retirement fund that he secreted into Dubai? Oh well, you cannot take it with you.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  31. Roger Ogilivy Thornhill

    Missed it! - by THAT much.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  32. Buba Clinton

    I say drop the bomb on em all and we run the cars on radioactive gas!

    July 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Soldier 157

      Then we can go to Mecca and play demolition Derby around their shrine and burn every Mosque to the ground!

      July 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
      • atal

        Try it and you will burn your ass.........reading from your comments makes me think that taliban exists everywhere and in every country...

        July 13, 2011 at 3:23 am |
    • Anna Greene

      not sure if you wnt to high school or not or midle school but the earth is round the eadiation will come back and bite is ...

      July 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  33. AZLib

    Nobody cares!!! FACT this goat hurder should NEVER get more PRESS than any American GI that has given his/her life for this bum-hole of a country. Time to bring our troops home today. Turn this Heroin producing land over to India they'll farm it and the radical muslims will run for cover in Pakistan. Every day there is a waste of prciuos lives and America's treaury and the ledership will NEVER appreicate what we have done for them. 5 seconds after we leave they wiill sign a partnership with IRAN. Pres Kissbuttom I'm sure has socked away 100 million or so and will run off to France or Saudi Ariba and will less than care about his homeland. The afgan Army still does NOT lead even one mission to protect their Own country. NO I REALLY DO NOT CARE about this fellow dieing. When CNN and the rest of press give as much attention to brave men/women of the US MILITARY give their all then and ONLY THEN will I care about this worthless person.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • TJ


      July 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
      • Ronald McD

        I like my Big Macs with a side order of freedom of speech a-hole.

        July 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Green Knight

      Take your pathetic posturing about caring for our troops and shove it in your pie hole. The only thing you care about is feeding your politically fueled partison anger. Here's a story about a guy who's death is very likely to bring more instability to Afghanistan, which means more violence aimed directly at our troops. All you can say is that you don't care about his death. It's not news worthy. You only care about our military. Do you have any idea how stupid you sound? All this talk about how the news doesn't cover our troops enough at the exact moment a US Ranger is the headline of the day for being rewarded a Medal of Honor for his bravery. Dolp!

      July 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  34. Amrullah Yousafzai, Mingora,Swat, Pakiland

    You yanks are stupid think you will win the war by invading and occupying.




    July 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • TJ


      July 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • Ehsan

      U all can see that the text and the song everything is in Pakistani Urdu language.. why u blaming this to be from an Afghan? Hey Paki.. we dont like ur sister.. take her of the discussion forum

      July 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • Shahriarzadeh

      Come on man, we are talking about some serious issues and you are sharing your sister dance with us? No wonder you are a Pakistani Idiot.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • atal

      Toon..but swati girls are in Heera Mundi..........if you don't beleive it go and see will cost you only $20/night...

      July 13, 2011 at 3:30 am | Reply
  35. Shahriarzadeh

    The title have to be "Corrupted, Man Killer, Taliban Partner Down".

    July 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  36. PGelsman

    ' I think one of the things that we're going to see happening over the next couple years in Afghanistan – as all parties there realize that U.S. forces, NATO forces are going to draw down – we are going to see Afghans reverting to the sort of conflict that they were having before we got involved there, fighting for control of resources, of different interests within the country, and this could just be part of that bigger picture'

    Yea, no kidding, so if we leave now it will be the same aftermath as if we leave later. Well I vote we leave now, let them kill each other, it's what they do best.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  37. Sewhaaaaaa?

    We 'let' the drug trade run rampant thee same way we 'let' it run rampant here and in Mexico: prohibition creates a black markt run by cartels to fuel our endless demand. Supply and demand works – we demand, *someone* will always supply.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  38. Josh

    July 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  39. Josh

    Hmm...interesting. This is the same guy that has been using the government's resources to buy himself estates in Dubai... Team 6 strikes again.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  40. Bob

    Why we would allow the narcotics trade and corruption to run rampant throughout the country is beyond me. In terms of corruption it has to be said that Afghanistan rivals the regimes of South Vietnam (before it fell).

    July 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • PGelsman

      Yes, when we leave we should burn every poppy field there is. That way the Taliban won't have it's income and the Chinese will be pleased. Remember, Opium comes from poppies and China has a long history with Opium.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • C.Brown

      I love how the majority of you think that you have the answers to all the problems we face in Afghanistan. I hear a lot of people saw that we just need to leave now, others say just burn all the poppy fields etc etc. Have any of you been on vacation in your lives? You know how hard it can be to get all your things together so that you and your family of 3 can be prepared to catch your flight and return home? Well just imagine if you had a family of 150,000 and you not only brought your clothing with you on vacation but you brought your house, your car's, and all of your other toys with you for a 10 year vacation to another country. Do you think it would be as simple as just saying "Ok I'm ready to go home lets all take a flight back tomorrow"? NO its not that easy sorry. I served 8 years in the Marine Corps and I can tell you that ending a war is much more difficult task than I think many civilians realize. We have aircraft, ships, shelters, civilian contractors, military etc etc that have to be pulled out. The billions and billions of dollars used to pay for all this which came out of your pockets and mine would all just stay there and most likely go to the Taliban if we just cut and run as fast as many of you would like us to. This is just something for you to think about the next time you comment on a post like this and make everything sound as easy as it is to end your Disney World vacation.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
      • Megan

        Thank you! And thank you so much for having served our country.

        Adding what I know to that: As an Army brat I've realized over the years you can't simply pull out. It's not like a video game where you can just hit restart mission or something like that when you get stuck in a level that takes you a lot longer than you realize. And if nobody has noticed, most of the military outposts we have are stationed in the South. Part of that reason stems back all the way to the reconstruction era after the Civil War because of political unrest in the area. There are also several bases in Germany established after WWII to make sure things went well there. Today people have no respect for the people fighting to defend our country and our rights. Soldiers are just doing our jobs and instead of bickering over what their job should be and when it should end, as a nation we should support them. You don't have to agree with the causes of the war or anything like that, but you should have at least enough civility to support your fellow countrymen.

        July 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
      • Green Knight

        Thank you for sharing your boots on the ground experience. Semper Fi, Devil Dog.

        It amazes me how many on these posts have completely forgotten the fact that we were viciously attacked from terrorists based in Afghanistan and protected by the Taliban. All this nonsense about occupation - as if the US is in the colonization business these days. It's utter nonsense. The bottom line is that we were attacked by the very same militants that we're still fighting today and having a hell of a time putting out of business. They are not going away - and leaving Afghanistan too soon is the same as handing back the territory gains and government reins right back to the Taliban / Al Queda enemy. History is likely to record a premature draw down as one of the most short sighted / politically motivated fiascos in the annals of US foriegn policy. When we leave and the Taliban take over once again - who is going to answer for another 9/11 magnitude attack organized and planned by the Taliban / Al Queda operating from Afghanistan bases? Will we gear up and go for another ten year war and quit before the job is complete and repeat the vicious cycle all over again? We need to get the job done and keep enough perpetual presence and power in the area for ongoing weed (counterterrorism) and feed (nation building) operations. The bury your head in the sand strategy just doesn't cut it. No more than ignoring the weeds in your garden in hope that the problem will just go away while you're eating pizza and watching TV all weekend. Weeds suck, nobody wants to deal with them. But the worst case scenario is letting them go wild for a season and having to deal with them once their firmly established and flourishing.

        July 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
      • Marine5484

        Not to mention you have to train the Afgans to take care of themselves in order to provide security there. But trying to talk sense into people that just want to leave is almost impossible. You have a better chance of shooting a perfect score on qual day at the rifle range.

        July 13, 2011 at 1:42 am |

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