A few people have raised the point that this is not the first time Karzai has complained about the US military and the death of Afghan civilians from American arms. And the cynical might argue, as Crowley does, that this is nothing more than political posturing. Certainly this might be correct. But here’s the crucial difference: this time David Petraeus threw a public hissy fit and leaked to the Washington Post that he would consider resigning if Karzai doesn’t fly right.
So sure Karzai might just be playing politics . . . but someone in the US military doesn’t see this as business as usual. That seems a bit consequential.
Good points. I’m still not to make of it. Why, for instance, are Afghan officials making such an effort to dial back Karzai’s words? In an email to me Cohen suggested that different factions in the government might be pursuing different agendas. Perhaps. The fact that all this is so unclear doesn’t inspire great confidence in the war effort.