Shifting Gears in Afghanistan

All eyes, so far, have been on the economy, but President Obama has been quietly orchestrating a new strategy for Afghanistan. According to The New York Times, Obama “will put more emphasis on waging war than on development.” The United States will also take a tougher line on President Hamid Karzai, whose government is corrupt, work more closely with provincial leaders, and leave nation-building mostly to its European allies so that it can focus on fighting insurgents. Among those pressing Karzai are special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, and Vice President Joe Biden, who recently told Karzai that the biweekly video conferences he enjoyed with President Bush will be ending and that Obama will expect more from him.