President Obama’s flying nocturnal visit to Afghanistan took everyone by surprise. Not so surprising was his focus on Afghan corruption and the need for Pakistan’s help in reaching the desired objective of disengaging from active hostilities with the Taleban. This new objective is a pragmatic scaling down of previous far more ambitious objectives. It also gives new meaning to the earlier stated plan of starting the beginning of a US withdrawal in July 2011.
The focus on corruption in Afghanistan is long overdue. The corrupt environment ensures that US aid also reaches the enemy the US is fighting-the Taleban. This is how it works. The US is totally dependent on logistics flows into Afghanistan via Central Asia and Pakistan. Within Afghanistan there are huge contracts involving at least 3 billion US dollars for the safe transportation and distribution of logistics.
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