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NYT: 'Crisis of confidence' for President Karzai in Afghanistan

Published: Tuesday August 22, 2006

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A "crisis of confidence" has emerged over the American-led effort to rebuild Afghanistan, according to an article slated for Wednesday's edition of The New York Times, RAW STORY has learned.

"After months of widespread frustration with corruption, the economy and a lack of justice and security, doubts about President Hamid Karzai, and by extension, the American-led effort to rebuild Afghanistan, have led to a crisis of confidence," writes Carlotta Gall for the Times.

"Interviews with ordinary Afghans as well as foreign diplomats and Afghan officials make clear that the expanding Taliban insurgency in the south represents the most serious challenge to his presidency to date," the article continues.

Excerpts from the Times article:


The insurgency, along with the other issues, has brought an eruption of doubts about Karzai, who is widely viewed as having failed to attend to a range of problems. That, in turn, has left more and more Afghans asking what the government is doing.

Corruption is so widespread, the government apparently so lethargic and the divide between rich and poor so gaping that Karzai is losing public support, warn officials like Ahmad Fahim Hakim, deputy chairman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. "Nothing that he promised has materialized," Hakim said, echoing the comments of diplomats and others in Kabul, the capital. "Beneath the surface, it is boiling."

For the first time since Karzai took office 4 1/2 years ago, Afghans and diplomats are speculating about who might replace him. Most agree that the answer for now is no one, leaving the fate of the U.S.-led enterprise intimately tied to his own success or failure.