US will appoint Afghan 'prime minister' to bypass Hamid Karzai (The Guardian)

Hoewel State Department het ontkent, lijkt het er op dat de VS president Karzai wil laten vervangen dan wel een sterke pro-Amerika autoriteit naast hem geplaatst wil zien. De kans dat Karzai in augustus wordt herkozen is echter groot en de kans dat hij een ‘sterke man’ naast zich zal tolereren, lijkt klein.

White House plans new executive role to challenge corrupt government in Kabul

The US and its European allies are preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul government in a direct challenge to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the Guardian has learned.

The creation of a new chief executive or prime ministerial role is aimed at bypassing Karzai. In a further dilution of his power, it is proposed that money be diverted from the Kabul government to the provinces. Many US and European officials have become disillusioned with the extent of the corruption and incompetence in the Karzai government, but most now believe there are no credible alternatives, and predict the Afghan president will win re-election in August.

A revised role for Karzai has emerged from the White House review of Afghanistan and Pakistan ordered by Barack Obama when he became president. It isto be unveiled at a special conference on Afghanistan at The Hague on March 31…

The risk for the US is that the imposition of a technocrat alongside Karzai would be viewed as colonialism, even though that figure would be an Afghan. Karzai declared his intention last week to resist a dilution of his power. Last week he accused an unnamed foreign government of trying to weaken central government in Kabul.

"That is not their job," the Afghan president said. "Afghanistan will never be a puppet state."..

US will appoint Afghan ‘prime minister’ to bypass Hamid Karzai (Julian Borger and Ewen MacAskill in Guardian)

Once seen as the only person for the job, President Hamid Karzai has exasperated the US and many Afghans with his inability to tackle corruption and insecurity

Hamid Karzai: Too nice, too weak – how west’s own man fell out of favour (Jon Boone in The Guardian)

The State Department Monday rejected as nonsense a published report that says the United States and key allies want to create a new senior post in the Afghan government to bypass President Hamid Karzai. The comments came as the Obama administration neared completion of a review of U.S. Afghan policy.

Officials here are not volunteering any ringing endorsements of the way President Karzai is handling his job, but they are rejecting the notion that the United States and European allies will push for creation of a new executive post in the Afghan government – a prime minister or a similar mandate – to dilute Mr. Karzai’s powers.

The British newspaper the Guardian reported Monday that altering the role of Mr. Karzai, who is accused by some western officials of tolerating corruption and mismanagement, is one possible element of a revised Afghan policy to be announced by the Obama administration.

In a talk with reporters, echoing comments in Europe by U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, State Department Acting Spokesman Robert Wood termed the Guardian report "absolute nonsense" and said that changes in governmental structure there are for the Afghans to decide…

US Denies Seeking to Bypass Afghanistan’s Karzai (By David Gollust / State Department)

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