Haroun Mir is the director of Afghanistan's center for research and policy studies.

Taking Marja militarily is the easy part, Haroun Mir says—the test is convincing Pakistan to deny safe havens to Taliban extremists and whether the Afghan government can ever effectively govern.

The top of President Karzai's agenda should be embracing his former rival, says Haroun Mir—and establishing a united government. Plus, six ways to fix the Afghan government starting now.

Obama may have approved a secret surge, but Haroun Mir says what will really help the war-torn country is to scrap its fraudulent elections and create a new interim government.