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24 November 2017 16:38 (South Africa)

Obama: where are the off-ramps from the Afghan highway?

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

US ambassador Karl Eikenberry has voiced his reservations about adding US troops to the levels already in the country, apparently because of doubts about Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai’s reliability and the corruption in his government. This puts him in sharp disagreement with US commander Gen. McChrystal, whose troop and strategic recommendations for up to 40,000 more troops are being debated by the president and his advisors. (Eikenberry previously served as US commander in Afghanistan.)   Obama and his advisers are considering troop options ranging from the addition of 10,000 -- to up to 40,000 new troops. Obama spoke with Eikenberry and sources say Obama wanted to know Eikenberry’s views on how long before results could lead to draw-downs of US troops. Or, as a source said, “He wants to know where the off-ramps are.” The ambassador has strongly advocated adding more civilian personnel to the US effort in Afghanistan, especially to help wean Afghan farmers away from a dependence on opium poppy production. Afghanistan is probably the world’s primary source for raw opium. Eikenberry’s engagement with the Afghan election earlier gained Karzai’s anger with what Karzai saw as an inappropriate intrusion into domestic politics. For much more on this evolving story, read the NYTimes and the Washington Post

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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