Sure, Hamid Karzai is a "vain, mercurial, hypersensitive man" presiding over "a system that is massively corrupt." But the US still should—and must—learn to work with him, Fareed Zakaria writes in the Washington Post. There is no alternative to Karzai, Zakaria argues; if the US hopes to win the war in Afghanistan, the "Obama administration needs to grow up, recognize that in the real world Karzai is the best partner it has and roll out the red carpet for him" when he visits Washington in May.
As a Pashtun and a major figure willing to ally with the US, Karzai is indispensable, Zakaria writes. And he's certainly no worse than other allies in the region, like Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. "That's not to say America shouldn't be putting heavy pressure on Karzai in private," Zakaria writes. "But the operative word here is 'private.' Voicing honest feelings might be good when you're a private citizen, but in government it is self-indulgent. Venting is not foreign policy."