Karzai threatened to join Taliban

No. It's time to slot Karzai. A walk in the woods should do the trick. Two almost-slashed wrists and a couple of painkillers ought to see him away.
He doesn't think we can succeed and in true Afghan style is looking to back the winning horse. Karzai also seems to be nearly as mad and paranoid as Gordon Brown and surely the Afghans don't deserve to be that poorly led.

Dr Abdullah Abdullah used to be close to Ahmed Shah Masood as I understand it and the Lion of Panshir was certainly not pro Taliban or AQ - leading directly to his demise. I wonder if it's possible to set up a death by 'natural causes' for Karzai and a unity Government under the Doc, or is it really time to pop smoke?
Funnily enough, Karzai expressed support for the Taliban in the 90s. He did so again when he got on his motorbike and rode back into Afghanistan from Pakistan in 2001.

He was opposed to Arabs (al-Q) rather than the jolly old Taliban.

The fact that the Americans bombed him by mistake (whoops!) as he re-entered Afghanistan to fight alongside them, may have swayed his opinions a little back then.

The fact that he's corrupt and opportunistic and shortly to be rumbled, may have swayed his opinions again this time.
Man's crazy like a fox.

Karzai's essentially a Pashtun nationalist and that's compatible with the Afghan talibans not aligned with Pindi or seeking to cast off the Punjabi yoke. This may even be a sizable block. To survive he needs to cultivate that constituency. Throwing a scare into the folks around him is no bad idea either, there are few bogeymen as effective as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. What he cannot afford to look like is a puppet. That nearly did for the political careers of Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi.

He also needs the ethnic minorities like the Tajiks on board, the Indians, Russians and to DC's great displeasure his Iranians chums. Like al-Maliki he too must work through a corrupt patronage system, balancing factions and deal with an interfering neighbor. The main differences are: he faces a far greater degree of malign intent from South of the Durand and Shi'a Iraq at least has oil wealth.

Karzai's has faced down Holbrooke et al, who he sees rightly as backing opposition figures without a Pashtun base that would be far more malleable. We may think of that as democracy at work, by regional standards it's as much outrageous interference as supporting Mushie against the Pakistani legal establishment, or trying to foist the light fingered Bhuttos on Pakistan's deep state.

It increasingly looks like our agenda is diverging from Kabul's interests and back to DC's traditional regional partners the sinister very corrupt chaps in the Pak Military. They have been steadily undermining what passes for civilian rule in Pakistan while pocketing a thick tranche of the aid DC showers on them and cheekily keeping all their Afghan assets in play against us.

In FP Has Karzai Gone Crazy? By Fred Kaplan
Gerard Russell, a former U.N. official in Kabul (who is now at Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy), said in a phone interview Monday that the Western coalition is pursuing this approach to some extent. The ongoing military operation in Helmand province has elevated the power of some independent Afghans there, at the expense of Karzai's people.

However, Russell added, there are risks to going around Karzai as the centerpiece of a strategy. "Karzai is very good at this sort of thing," Russell said. "He could undermine these regional governors if they get too powerful."

Russell thinks there was an opportunity last year, before the elections, to get rid of Karzai. Others disagree. They say that Karzai's agility has always been underrated and that, even if it hasn't, an alternative candidate might have been worse. There is also the matter of the "Diem complex." The CIA's assassination of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem during the Kennedy administration, did nothing to improve political prospects and only sucked the United States more deeply into the quagmire.

In any event, Russell agrees that, at this point, the West is faced with just two options on what to do about Karzai: either withdraw support for him—or back him all the way. Ambivalent support or persistent bickering is a recipe for disaster and defeat.
Actually the options are suck it up, tell Pindi to lump it and back Karzai to the hilt: as, after much p1ssing and whining we eventually did with al-Maliki. Again the result will be a troubled state of dubious loyalty that we'll be entangled with for some time.

Or effectively accept defeat and leave the place much as we found it, at the mercy of the ISI's goons.

The former is the more honorable the latter is easier to dress up as victory, politically expedient and if we are willing to accept some modest increases in risks from mass casualty terrorism may actually serve our geopolitical interests better.
Domovoy said:

Where do you think China stands with regard to its interests in Afghanistan and Karzai "mood swings"?
They do have potentially economic interests in Afghanistan but their "strategic and cooperative partnership" with the Pak military deepens. In the end its India that Beijing sees as a strategic competitor and they are not wrong. Afghanistan is peripheral. Pakistan is the obvious pivot. So Karzai is not their man. That the Pak military stir the pot of the Jihad is beneath consideration for China, they have far bigger game in mind. Chimerica has a lot of incentives to return to pre-9-11 business as usual.

DC's current tilt to Pindi is not unconnected. That huge Beijing held deficit must constrain Barry's practical options severely. He risks becoming Beijing's bitch long before time if he is weak in this.
lewis1991blue said:
I would say a CIA backed coup is on the cards...
So it's Vietnam Mk 2 then ? I do hope you're wrong, any leader perceived as owing their status to the actions of foreigners will never garner the popular support necessary to establish a working state and let us go home. Hell, one of the central TB narratives is that the Coalition is there to prop up a foreign puppet. That's why Karzai says things like this, he has to appear to be independent.
It'll all end in tears...
I can see Karzai & family in an orange jumpsuits
being led away into captivity to be charged under RICO acts a la Noriega.
I don't think we should over-react to him saying this stuff. We should react firmly to him doing anything that will support the Taliban, even indirectly. In this case, my definition of firm is 2 rounds 7.62 to the chest quickly followed by another to the head. I'm sure there's someone out there who'd be willing to help out... (maybe I've spent too long playing Just Cause 2)

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