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New PDF release: A Kingdom of Their Own

By Joshua Partlow

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There had been periods of frequent personal contact between Bush and Karzai via videoconferencing that, Obama’s representatives told Karzai, would become much less common. Obama might visit Afghanistan; he might not. There would be no coddling. The administration wanted to work around Karzai as much as possible, building up the provincial and district leaders, although two-thirds of the country’s district governors didn’t even have office buildings and all of them answered to Karzai. S. government, would deliver the messages, not the president.

S. embassy was buying commercial airline tickets to fly Karzai’s opponents to campaign events and also allowing candidates to use its airplanes. Two months before the vote, Ambassador Eikenberry spoke at televised press conferences alongside Abdullah, the most prominent challenger; Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister; and other opposition candidates, prompting Karzai’s foreign minister to call him to complain. The effect of his appearances was not subtle. ” Holbrooke, Obama’s special representative to the region, held Karzai in even lower regard and had disparaged him to other Afghan politicians for years.

Embassy in Kabul who lived through the transition. “You had all of the sort of military might, intel might, diplomatic might literally grinding like an old fire truck off of Iraq and onto Afghanistan. There was a mentality of: the grown-ups have arrived. ” Within three weeks of moving into the Oval Office, Obama had ordered seventeen thousand more troops to Afghanistan, and less than a year later he would up that by another thirty-three thousand. S. embassy, in a collection of mustard-colored concrete office buildings and white metal trailers, would bring in hundreds of staffers, becoming the country’s largest diplomatic mission, with a budget exceeding $4 billion per year, or more than four times Afghanistan’s domestic revenue.

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A Kingdom of Their Own by Joshua Partlow


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