U.S./Afghan Relations BUSM 520 Midway College Dr. Michael McDermott Created by Brad H. Kerkhoff May 31st, 2010
Afghanistan Overview • People • Population: 28M • Main Ethnic Groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, Aimaq, Bluch, Nuristani, Kizilbash • Religions: Sunni Muslim 80%; Shi’a Muslim 19%, other 1% • Languages: Dari (Afghan Farsi), Pashto • Education: ~6M children, ~35% girls. Literacy – 28.1% male, 12% female • Health – Infant mortality rate 15%; Life Expectancy 44.47 years (male); 44.81 years (female). • Government • Islamic Republic • Branches: Executive—president; Legislative—National Assembly; Judicial—Supreme Court, High Courts, and Appeals Courts • Economy • GDP – $23.34B (2009) • GDP Growth – 11.25% (between 2004 & 2009) • One of the world’s poorest countries • Geography • Area: Slightly smaller than Texas • Terrain: Landlocked; mostly mountains and desert • Climate: Dry, with cold winters and hot summers
Why Are These Relations Important • U.S. • Without stability in Afghanistan, the country becomes a safe harbor for anti-West terrorist organizations with money to fund the government. • Afghanistan is a prime location for an energy pipeline into Asia. • Afghanistan is the greatest illicit opium producer in the world. The U.S. has a drug problem. • Afghanistan • Without the U.S.’s support and aid, Hamid Kazair would be overtaken by stronger, better funded tribes. • In addition to defense, the U.S. is heavily investing in education and business development for the Afghani people.
Afghanistan History 1973 – Current Next Page….
Hamid Karzai’s Leadership Style has Been Described as a ‘3 Card Monte’, You Never Know Which Card Will Appear “he sees human rights, freedom of the press, the law, and the constitution as chains around his hands and legs.”
Karzai Anti-Western? • Desperation Moves • Anti-Western • Western critics have accused Mr. Karzai of weak leadership, cutting deals with warlords, tolerating drug smugglers and ignoring rampant corruption that has fed the insurgency. • Karzai’s dealmaking is an effort to cling to power. • Obama’s snubbing of Karzai this year led to much of his anti-western rants, a showing of saving face • Obama was late to give any time to Obama after his innauguration • Theory of Obama viewing Karzai as a Bush crony • Karzai stopped just short of accusing the U.S. of being invaders. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X34TGbPLGY
Hillary Clinton – U.S. Secretary of State http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/11/world/asia/11karzai.html
Karzai’s Tactics to Get Washington’s Attention • After the initial snubbing from the Obama Administration during the Afghanistan election in favor of Karzai’s opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, Karzai hosted the Iranian Leader Amadinijad at the presidential palace, who gave a scathing Anti-Western speech. • Karzai threatened he would quit the political process and join the Taliban if the U.S. didn’t stop putting pressure on him to reform. • Karzai has been accused of being Anti-Western. The truth, Karzai is whatever he needs to be for a particular audience to stay in power (anti-Iranian, anti-West, anti-Taliban, etc.) • The end result was a very public showing of the U.S. hosting Hamid Karzai, with renewed vows of support from the U.S.
Karzi - Level 3 Leader He likes to lead in a sort of kingly fashion, as head of the tribe. He is also slightly paranoid. He has deep convictions of a conspiracy going on. Sometimes it's led by the British, that the British are in cahoots with the Pakistanis, and now the Americans, to turn over parts of the country to Pakistan and the Taliban.
Going Forward • Hamid Karzai is a double crossing, disloyal leader in a land filled with double crossing, disloyal leaders. Currently, he is the best of the worst that are in power for the U.S.’s agenda. • The U.S. should not make the same mistakes the Soviets did by leaving a power void. Do not leave a leadership void to be filled by tribes supported by terrorist organizations. • Do not make Karzai look week to his country. • A steady top-level down focus from the U.S. shows commitment to Karzai’s countrymen and enemies. • This is a long term support role. • Continued focus on training Afghanistan security forces • A flexible withdraw date. The theory is that the Taliban will lay low until the U.S. withdraws, then resurface if the U.S. stays with the July 2011 pull-out date. • Define success as a fairly stable government. With 100’s of years of war in Afghanistan, a somewhat stable government is an improvement. For Karzai, ending the fighting among ethnic, sectarian and tribal groups that has plagued Afghanistan for decades clearly trumps Washington's high priority wish
Bibliography • Hamid Karzai, The New York Times, published May 12, 2010, accessed May 26th, 2010 http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/hamid_karzai/index.html?inline=nyt-per • MacAskill, E; Washington; guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 11, May 2010; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/11afghanistan-hamid-karzai-hillary-clinton • Mail Foreign Service; Mailonline; Worldnews; April 28th, 2010; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1269463/Afghanistan-PowerPoint-slide-Generals-left-baffled-PowerPoint-slide.html • Obama, B.; March 27th, 2009; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Whats-New-in-the-Strategy-for-Afghanistan-and-Pakistan/ • http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5380.htm • http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/09spring/jalali.pdf • Ruben, E.; April 5th, 2010; National Public Radio http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125594167 • Kaplan, R.; 2006; What to ask the person in the mirror • Hill, L; 2007; Where will we find tomorrow’s leaders