According to a new Pentagon report, only 1 in 4 Afghans support President Hamid Karzai in the districts considered strategically important. From McClatchy:
Opinion surveys, the report said, found only 24 percent of the people in those 121 districts sympathize with or support Karzai’s government, formed after the fraud-tainted August 2009 elections.
At the same time, more than half of Afghans blame the Taliban for the insecurity wracking the country, it said.
The report also cast doubt on the recent offensive in Marjah, says McClatchy.
“The insurgents’ tactic of re-infiltrating the cleared areas to perform executions has played a role in dissuading locals from siding with the Afghan government, which has complicated efforts to introduce effective governance,” it said.
Why does this report matter? Because it will surely be used as fodder for questions when Karzai visits the United States in two weeks.
I’m currently in Kabul, and I’ll be writing more on Afghanistan in the weeks ahead. But the Karzai/Obama relationship will certainly be a developing storyline…