February 26th, 2010
03:04 PM ET

Afghan leader Karzai is playing games

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/20/afghanistan.election.fraud/art.karzai.afp.gi.jpg caption=" Afghan President Hamid Karzai, here in the photo, has long been considered by his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai to be an American puppet."]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

Coalition forces have scored gains on the Afghan battlefield. Taliban leaders are on the run in neighboring Pakistan. But there's no sign of political progress in Afghanistan, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

He said Afghan President Hamid Karzai's assertion of control this week over a watchdog group that seeks to ensure fair elections is "just one more reminder that we have a very difficult alliance with Karzai."

Zakaria said, "You notice that even though the coalition gave Karzai enormous control over the military operations in Marjah, he has yet to publicly endorse them. He has twice publicly criticized them for civilian casualties without pointing out that the Taliban makes conscious use of civilians as human shields. So overall his recent actions have all reminded us that he is playing political games rather than providing real leadership."

NATO-led and Afghan troops have gained ground in a major offensive in the southern province of Helmand, but also have stirred protests about civilian casualties that are believed to have claimed more than 50 lives in two weeks. U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal apologized for an airstrike in which 27 civilians were killed.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Fareed Zakaria
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Dennis Linville

    Father told me a story of a man who helped a rattle snake in trouble and as he sat the snake back down it bit him.The man said how could you after i saved your life? the rattle snake what did you expect i'm a snake!
    Karzai is a drug dealer,what did you expect?When it comes to drug dealers i'd rather trust the snake.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    And we expected what exactly?

    February 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm |