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Aghanistan's Karzai back to antagonizing the US and attacking free speech

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Earlier today, a Karzai spokesman said the government was investigating the ICG for possible legal action, complaining that "the ICG reports and activities have been politically motivated" and that "it is detrimental to Afghanistan's national interests and no country will allow such activities by a foreign organisation."

What has so upset Karzai, who returned to power in a fraud-riddled election in 2009 (Afghan elections in general are driven by vote-buying, intimidation, and stuffed ballot boxes)? Well, the ICG had the temerity to suggest in October that Afghanistan is an unstable place that could easily descend into widespread civil war again. As the first sentence of the ICG's executive summary had it: "Plagued by factionalism and corruption, Afghanistan is far from ready to assume responsibility for security when U.S. and NATO forces withdraw in 2014."

That is as uncontroversial a sentence about the current reality of Afghanistan as one could concoct. That the country is one of the most corrupt in the world, enabled by the billions of aid money and reconstruction spending that sloughed through Kabul over the past decade, is not an opinion. It's a fact. That Afghan government security forces have consistently failed at demonstrating they can operate on their own is likewise not open to interpretation; the Afghan National Army's operations rely on a $4 billion annual subsidy from the US, and the US military continues to run logistics for the Afghans. 

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