The Atlantic Jul 2014
A profile of Afghanistan’s outgoing president.
On the occasion of Hamid Karzai’s visit to the White House, a fever dream tour of the Afghanistan war through the eyes of the leaders who gave birth to its narrative.
In Afghanistan and other zones of international crisis with John Kerry:
Why, then, does Kerry bother? Why is he racing back and forth to put out the fires being set by a serial arsonist? I asked him about this on the short flight from Kabul to Islamabad. Kerry tried to put the best possible face on what he had learned. Despite the warlords in Kabul, he said, Karzai had appointed some talented officials at the provincial and district levels. “It’s a mixed bag,” he concluded gamely. Kerry knew Karzai’s failings as well as anyone, but he was not prepared to abandon Afghanistan’s president, because he was not prepared to abandon Afghanistan. But why not?