This doesn't bode well for the mission in Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai doubts that the US and NATO can defeat the Taliban, reports Dexter Filkins of the New York Times. While the West is pressing ahead with its military push against insurgents, Karzai is reportedly reaching out to the Taliban in secret negotiations. Karzai, who thinks the US undermined his authority by challenging his election victory last summer, also is trying to strike a deal with Pakistan.
“The president has lost his confidence in the capability of either the coalition or his own government to protect this country,” says the former director of Afghan's intelligence service. “President Karzai has never announced that NATO will lose, but the way that he does not proudly own the campaign shows that he doesn’t trust it is working.”