Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"US will appoint Afghan 'prime minister' to bypass Hamid Karzai," The Guardian, March 23, 2009.

[While the White House is crafting "a more dependable figure" to work alongside Karzai, let's ask them to find another one to host the Harper/Ignatieff show. Meanwhile, get ready for the beginning of a really big escalation in Afghanistan. -jlt]

The US and its European allies are ­preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul government in a direct challenge to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the Guardian has learned.

The creation of a new chief executive or prime ministerial role is aimed at bypassing Karzai. In a further dilution of his power, it is proposed that money be diverted from the Kabul government to the provinces. Many US and European officials have become disillusioned with the extent of the corruption and incompetence in the Karzai government, but most now believe there are no credible alternatives, and predict the Afghan president will win re-election in August.

  The idea of a more dependable figure working alongside Karzai is one of the proposals to emerge from the White House review, completed last week.

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