Karzai and the Afghanistan Consensus
At the neoconservative Foreign Policy Initiative conference, Retired Lt. Col. John Nagl took a question on whether the United States has a horse in the Afghan presidential election. Nagl offered that Afghan voters had “good options” including and apart from President Hamid Karzai. Two important factors were that the president would see the benefits of the new American strategy, and that whoever gets elected would be seen as a puppet master by America’s enemies, almost regardless of who it was.
“The only way to avoid that is to see the election of your worst enemy,” said Kagan. “Finally, we’ve achieved that in El Salvador.”
Both hammered home the point of the panel, that, in Kagan’s words, “the stronger we can build a consensus to commitment to Afghanistan,” the easier it will be to keep if and when support for the war falters. Nagl suggested that it would take a decade to bring real stability to the region.
[UPDATE: This post originally quoted Nagl as saying "I'll never get tired of the phrase 'Global War on Terror.'" This was incorrect: Nagl had said he wanted a new phrase to replace "GWOT," and was endorsing the concept, not the phrase.]