The US ambassador to Afghanistan has warned President Obama not to send more troops to prop up what he called the corrupt leadership in Kabul. Karl Eikenberry wrote of his deep reservations about what he termed President Hamid Karzai’s “erratic behaviour” and the rampant corruption in his government. Obama is considering sending up to 40,000 more troops to fight the Taliban, but doubts about Karzai as a reliable partner have delayed a decision.
Germany stepped up the pressure on Kabul to clean up its act. Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg reaffirmed Berlin’s commitment to Afghanistan, but warned Karzai to outline a clear path to the future. He said the allies’ expectations of good governance must be met. The point was hammered home in London, where NATO’s leader said Kabul must prove its worth. “I do know that we will need more trainers and more resources for our training mission and we need what I would call a new contract between the international community and the government in Kabul with the aim of providing good governance,” said Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. There are more than 100,000 US-led troops in Afghanistan, 40,000 of them from allied nations. Rising public worries over casualties and the prospect of losing the war have led to increasing calls for them to be brought home.