The Afghanistan mess

The New York Times has reported that, in the finest traditions of American foreign influence buying, the CIA regularly drops off bags of money to Afghan president Hamid Karzai. It’s ironic that in a nation America is allegedly trying to democratise, one source is quoted as saying that the biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan is the US. Given the questionable loyalties of the Karzai government, one must question the value, or the wisdom of trying to buy him off regardless, given the complexities of political relationships within Afghanistan. In a wider sense, it raises questions as to the merits of ongoing involvement in Afghanistan, as Western nations begin to scale back their involvement. Ever since the failed Soviet invasion, no good has come to either the invader or the Afghan people themselves from foreign intervention. The only real benefit of the present invasion has been the undermining of the Taliban, but even they appear set to wield at least some influence once foreign troops leave. In my humble opinion, the US is wasting its money trying to buy the influence of a man whose loyalties clearly lie elsewhere, and in a wider sense, beyond the obvious humanitarian benefits, achieves little politically, either in terms of influencing the Afghanis or at home, by virtue of its ongoing presence in Afghanistan

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