Under the not-too-promising headline “Afghans’ Distrust Threatens U.S. War Strategy” (5/13/10), the New York Times reports that U.S. success in the Afghan war “may well depend on whether Afghans can overcome their corrosive distrust of President Hamid Karzai’s government.”
Why that lack of trust would be deemed “corrosive,” or why they should trust someone many think stole the recent election, is not clear.
Moving on to this:
Despite the commitment of more troops by Mr. Obama and a new strategy that has emphasized the protection of Afghan civilians, few in Afghanistan believe that a functional government that holds the country together can be created on the timetable outlined.
The new U.S. strategy of…protecting civilians?
Would that be the one that the Times covered last week?
Shootings of Afghans on Rise at Checkpoints
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Shootings of Afghan civilians by American and NATO convoys and at military checkpoints have spiked sharply this year, becoming the leading cause of combined civilian deaths and injuries at the hands of Western forces, American officials say.
The piece added: “These shootings are a major reason civilian casualties in Afghanistan are soaring after a much-publicized period of decline.”
A recent military-commissioned survey of almost 2,000 residents of Kandahar Province found that American and NATO convoys were perceived as equally as dangerous as roadside bombs and more dangerous than Taliban checkpoints.
It sounds like Afghans might have a “corrosive distrust” of someone else too.