Obama in Afghanistan

The Herald reports:

President Barack Obama has told American forces during his surprise visit to Afghanistan that US lives would be at risk if the Taleban retake control of the country.

Not just US lives.

Karzai promised that his country “would move forward into the future” to eventually take over its own security, and he thanked Obama for the American intervention in his country.

He told Obama he has begun to establish more credible national institutions on corruption and made clear he intends to make ministerial appointments more representative of the multiple ethnic and geographic regions of the country, according to a US account of the meeting.

Obama’s trip was intended to emphasise US demands that Karzai deal with corruption and cut the flow of money from poppy production and drug trafficking that is sustaining the insurgency. The US also wants Karzai to create an effective, credible judicial system and to halt cronyism and rewards for warlords in government hiring.

I think Iraq is on track to be a relatively successful country by 2020. Afghanistan, I am not so sure about – but I agree with Obama this is no time to quit.

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