Dissent

Ambassador Opposes Afghanistan Surge

Washington's power players can't seem to reach consensus on Afghanistan. The Washington Post reports that America's ambassador in Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, sent two classified cables to D.C. last week urging President Obama to hold off on troop increases until after newly reelected President Hamid Karzai shows he's serious about cutting corruption and curtailing the Taliban. Eikenberry commanded America's troops in Afghanistan from 2006–2007, and his request reportedly rubbed former colleagues at the Pentagon—not to mention Gen. Stanley McChrystal—the wrong way. Eikenberry's reticence stems from what the Post characterizes as "deep reservations about Karzai's erratic behavior," including the leader's ambivalent attitude toward America: "The United States and its allies came to Afghanistan after September 11. Afghanistan was troubled like hell before that, too. Nobody bothered about us," he said in an interview with Jim Lehrer last week.