When President Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai address the press in the East Room at 11:15a today [foxlivestream], the two will attempt to present a united front. Given issues in Afghanistan such as corruption, reconciling with militant leaders, drug trafficking, and even Karzai's threat to join the Taliban, that may not be so easy.

 

Look for carefully-worded language which outlines this delicate dynamic. Karzai's leadership is being tested and the United States has invested itself heavily in his ability to come through both financially and politically.

Rather than sweeping the very public discord between the two nations under the rug, though, both sides are embracing it and labeling open discussion of such disagreements as a sign of trust.

The US plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan next year. Of concern to Karzai is that the withdrawal will happen before the Afghans are ready to stand on their own.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to dispel that notion Tuesday when she said, "We will not abandon the Afghan people...Our civilian commitment will remain long into the future."

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