President Karzai Comes to Washington

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After a campaign of tough love that appeared to go nowhere, President Obama has turned on the charm for Afghan President Hamid Karzai. At the White House today, he said reported tensions were “overstated.” Karzai thanked him for American resources and sacrifice on behalf of his country. But both presidents acknowledged a rough road ahead—well beyond July of next year, when Obama plans to begin a drawdown of US forces. Karzai said disagreements are normal after 10 years of warfare against the Taliban. An Afghan reporter asked him about planned peace talks with the Taliban. Will they include upper-level leaders who have refused to meet US demands that they lay down their arms, recognize the country’s constitution and respect human rights. Has Karzai’s visit produced a plan for what happens next?




Warren Olney