NATO’s discussions of Afghanistan continue without Afghanistan

Here’s links to a couple of pieces on the NATO summit in Wales (WP and Global News).  With discussions told continuing on Afghanistan and the highest ranking Afghan official the Minister of Defense (who seems unlikely to have a very high position in the incoming government – all the key players are in Kabul right now), Afghanistan is missing an important opportunity.  We’ve already discussed some of the repercussion of the Kerry deal (here), not to mention the economic fallout (here), but with NATO leaders in Wales and no significant Afghan leader there, important discussions about military presence, aid levels, the Taliban resurgence, etc are simply sliding down the agenda.  With NATO leaders concerned about Iraq and the Ukraine, and no Afghan leader to push the Afghan agenda, it seems likely that little will emerge from what could have been a promising meeting.

At first, when Karzai sent Bismullah Khan to the meeting instead of attending himself, it seemed as if there could have been a new deal imminent.  But as the days slip by and no deal emerges (and let’s not forget a new deal has seemed “imminent” for months), the decision not to send someone more high ranking or even attending himself “for the good of the nation,” seems foolish.  A lot of people are still concerned about a Karzai power grab, but every day that passes without a clear step towards a new government, the country continues to miss economic and diplomatic opportunities.  Someone needs to step forward.

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