The presidential palace in Kabul is viewing Barack Obamaâs move into the White House next week with great unease.
Hillary Clinton, who is set to become US secretary of state in a matter of days, this week labelled Afghanistan a ânarco-stateâ whose government was âplagued by limited capacity and widespread corruptionâ.
Setting out the tough approach of the incoming administration, Mrs Clinton said the US would âtie aid to better performance by the Afghan national government, including anti-corruption initiatives and efforts to extend the rule of law across the countryâ. Since 2001, the US government has provided more than $32bn (â¬25bn, Â£22bn) to Afghanistan and the Obama administration wants to increase non-military aid further, as well as raise US troop numbers.
But Mrs Clintonâs comments are only the latest sign that relations with the new US administration are likely to be stormy, contrasting with the friendly ties between George W. Bush and Hamid Karzai ever since the Afghan president took office in 2002.
A visit by Joe Biden caused disquiet last year when the now vice-president-elect became so irritated with Mr Karzai that he abruptly ended the meeting.